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Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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Inducible Resistance to Maize Streak Virus

Inducible Resistance to Maize Streak Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it

Maize streak virus (MSV), which causes maize streak disease (MSD), is the major viral pathogenic constraint on maize production in Africa. Type member of the Mastrevirus genus in the family Geminiviridae, MSV has a 2.7 kb, single-stranded circular DNA genome encoding a coat protein, movement protein, and the two replication-associated proteins Rep and RepA. While we have previously developed MSV-resistant transgenic maize lines constitutively expressing “dominant negative mutant” versions of the MSV Rep, the only transgenes we could use were those that caused no developmental defects during the regeneration of plants in tissue culture. A better transgene expression system would be an inducible one, where resistance-conferring transgenes are expressed only in MSV-infected cells. However, most known inducible transgene expression systems are hampered by background or “leaky” expression in the absence of the inducer. Here we describe an adaptation of the recently developed INPACT system to express MSV-derived resistance genes in cell culture. Split gene cassette constructs (SGCs) were developed containing three different transgenes in combination with three different promoter sequences. In each SGC, the transgene was split such that it would be translatable only in the presence of an infecting MSV’s replication associated protein. We used a quantitative real-time PCR assay to show that one of these SGCs (pSPLITrepIII-Rb-Ubi) inducibly inhibits MSV replication as efficiently as does a constitutively expressed transgene that has previously proven effective in protecting transgenic maize from MSV. In addition, in our cell-culture based assay pSPLITrepIII-Rb-Ubi inhibited replication of diverse MSV strains, and even, albeit to a lesser extent, of a different mastrevirus species. The application of this new technology to MSV resistance in maize could allow a better, more acceptable product.

 

Ed Rybicki's insight:

This is a big deal: seriously. It's the culmination of some 24 years of involvement by my lab in engineering resistance in maize, and is the latest effort on top of of one unsuccessful and one partially successful construction by three top-class researchers in that time.

So take a bow, Fiona Tanzer, Tich Mangwende and Dionne Shepherd, who did the main work - and Kenneth Palmer, Janet Willment, Darrin Martin, Marian Bezuidenhout and Francisco Lakay, who made it happen. And not forgetting Bev Clarke, who started it all, and Barbara von Wechmar, without whom it would have started.

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HIV positive women appeal to traditional rulers for protection

HIV positive women appeal to traditional rulers for protection | Virology News | Scoop.it
HIV positive women appeal to traditional rulers for protection (RT @joyonlineghana: HIV positive women appeal to traditional rulers for protection ....
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