Development of a Virus Induced Gene Silencing Vector from a Legumes Infecting Tobamovirus


Medicago truncatula, the model plant of legumes, is well characterized, but there is only a little knowledge about it as a viral host. Viral vectors can be used for expressing foreign genes or for virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), what is a fast and powerful tool to determine gene functions in plants. Viral vectors effective on Nicotiana benthamiana have been constructed from a number of viruses, however, only few of them were effective in other plants. A Tobamovirus, Sunnhemp mosaic virus (SHMV) systemi-cally infects Medicago truncatula without causing severe symptoms. To set up a viral vector for Medicago truncatula, we prepared an infectious cDNA clone of SHMV. We constructed two VIGS vectors differing in the promoter element to drive foreign gene expression. The vectors were effective both in the expression and in the silencing of a transgene Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and in silencing of an endogenous gene Phytoene desaturase (PDS) on N. benthamiana. Still only one of the vectors was able to successfully silence the endogenous Chlorata 42 gene in M. truncatula.


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We wish to thank Gabor Giczey for critical reading of the manuscript. É. V. is recipients of Bolyai János Fellowship.

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Correspondence to Éva Várallyay.

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Várallyay, É., Lichner, Z., Sáfrány, J. et al. Development of a Virus Induced Gene Silencing Vector from a Legumes Infecting Tobamovirus. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 61, 457–469 (2010).

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  • VIGS
  • SHMV
  • Medicago truncatula
  • gene silencing
  • functional genomics