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Current Trends in Biotechnology and Pharmacy
Year : 2015, Volume : 9, Issue : 3
First page : ( 212) Last page : ( 221)
Print ISSN : 0973-8916. Online ISSN : 2230-7303.

Stacking of Host-induced Gene Silencing Mediated Resistance to Banana Bunchy Top Virus and Fusarium Wilt disease in Transgenic Banana Plants

Ghag Siddhesh Ba, Shekhawat Upendra K Sa, Hadapad Ashok B, Ganapathi Thumballi R*

Nuclear Agriculture & Biotechnology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai-400 085, India

*For Correspondence-trgana@barc.gov.in

aContributed equally to this work

Online published on 16 December, 2015.


Pest and diseases are the main cause of loss in productivity of major food security crops. The objective to increase food production feeding the increasing world population, at most times is seriously compromised by these biotic constraints. Introducing resistant traits in plants against multiple pathogens is the need of the hour. New methods such as RNA interference can be used to develop efficient resistance against several deleterious phytopathogens. RNA interference has previously been applied to control banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) and Fusarium wilt disease in banana. In this study, we introduced both these ihpRNA (intron hairpin RNA) constructs in the single transgenic banana plant by co-transformation so as to stack resistance to both the diseases. Thirty eight transgenic lines were regenerated, out of which 5 lines were found to be co-transformed. To test for resistance to BBTV and Fusarium wilt disease, the four out of these five co-transformed lines were challenged with viruliferous aphids and Fusarium mass culture. In these bioassays, two transgenic lines (VR19 and VR20) showed high level of resistance to BBTV and Fusarium wilt disease. The two resistant lines expressing both the silencing cassettes were characterized at molecular level by PCR using respective T-DNA specific primers. Further, based on these results, we propose that generation of transgenic plants transformed with multiple silencing constructs targeted towards vital pathogen genes could turn out be most appropriate approach to develop effective resistance against a broad array of viral and fungal pathogens.



Banana, co-transformation, intronhairpin-RNA, banana bunchy top disease, Fusarium wilt.


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