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The potential of virus-induced gene silencing for speeding up functional characterization of plant genes

By V.A. Benedito, P.B. Visser, G.C. Angenent and F.A. Krens


Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) has been shown to be of great potential in plant reverse genetics. Advantages of VIGS over other approaches, such as T-DNA or transposon tagging, include the circumvention of plant transformation, methodological simplicity and robustness, and speedy results. These features make VIGS an attractive alternative instrument in functional genomics, even in a high throughput fashion. The system is already well established in Nicotiana benthamiana; however, efforts are being made to improve VIGS in other species, including monocots. Current research is focussed on unravelling the mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene silencing and VIGS, as well as on finding novel viral vectors in order to broaden the host species spectrum. We examined how VIGS has been used to assess gene functions in plants, including molecular mechanisms involved in the process, available methodological elements, such as vectors and inoculation procedures, and we looked for examples in which the system has been applied successfully to characterize gene function in plants

Year: 2004
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Provided by: NARCIS
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