Polycistronic artificial miRNA-mediated resistance to Wheat dwarf virus in barley is highly efficient at low temperature

András Kis, Gergely Tholt, Milán Ivanics, E. Várallyay, Barnabás Jenes, Z. Havelda

Research output: Article

34 Citations (Scopus)


Infection of Wheat dwarf virus (WDV) strains on barley results in dwarf disease, imposing severe economic losses on crop production. As the natural resistance resources against this virus are limited, it is imperative to elaborate a biotechnological approach that will provide effective and safe immunity to a wide range of WDV strains. Because vector insect-mediated WDV infection occurs during cool periods in nature, it is important to identify a technology which is effective at lower temperature. In this study, we designed artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs) using a barley miRNA precursor backbone, which target different conservative sequence elements of the WDV strains. Potential amiRNA sequences were selected to minimize the off-target effects and were tested in a transient sensor system in order to select the most effective constructs at low temperature. On the basis of the data obtained, a polycistronic amiRNA precursor construct (VirusBuster171) was built expressing three amiRNAs simultaneously. The construct was transformed into barley under the control of a constitutive promoter. The transgenic lines were kept at 12-15°C to mimic autumn and spring conditions in which major WDV infection and accumulation take place. We were able to establish a stable barley transgenic line displaying resistance to insect-mediated WDV infection. Our study demonstrates that amiRNA technology can be an efficient tool for the introduction of highly efficient resistance in barley against a DNA virus belonging to the Geminiviridae family, and this resistance is effective at low temperature where the natural insect vector mediates the infection process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - ápr. 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Molecular Biology

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