Virus diseases are among the key limiting factors that cause significant yield loss and continuously threaten crop production. Resistant cultivars coupled with pesticide application are commonly used to circumvent these threats. One of the limitations of the reliance on resistant cultivars is the inevitable breakdown of resistance due to the multitude of variable virus populations. Similarly, chemical applications to control virus transmitting insect vectors are costly to the farmers, cause adverse health and environmental consequences, and often result in the emergence of resistant vector strains. Thus, exploiting strategies that provide durable and broad-spectrum resistance over diverse environments are of paramount importance.
The development of plant gene transfer systems has allowed for the introgression of alien genes into plant genomes for novel disease control strategies, thus providing a mechanism for broadening the genetic resources available to plant breeders. Genetic engineering offers various options for introducing transgenic virus resistance into crop plants to provide a wide range of resistance to viral pathogens. This review examines the current strategies of developing virus resistant transgenic plants.
KeywordsBroad-spectrum resistance;Transgenic plants;Plant viruses;Gene silencing;Agrobacterium;Plant biotechnology
Via Rabenstein, Frank