Strategies for antiviral resistance in transgenic plants

M.W. Prins, M. Laimer, E. Noris, J. Schubert, M. Wassenegger, M. Tepfer

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226 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic engineering offers a means of incorporating new virus resistance traits into existing desirable plant cultivars. The initial attempts to create transgenes conferring virus resistance were based on the pathogen-derived resistance concept. The expression of the viral coat protein gene in transgenic plants was shown to induce protective effects similar to classical cross protection, and was therefore distinguished as 'coat-protein-mediated' protection. Since then, a large variety of viral sequences encoding structural and non-structural proteins were shown to confer resistance. Subsequently, non-coding viral RNA was shown to be a potential trigger for virus resistance in transgenic plants, which led to the discovery of a novel innate resistance in plants, RNA silencing. Apart from the majority of pathogen-derived resistance strategies, alternative strategies involving virus-specific antibodies have been successfully applied. In a separate section, efforts to combat viroids in transgenic plants are highlighted. In a final summarizing section, the potential risks involved in the introduction of transgenic crops and the specifics of the approaches used will be discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • tobacco-mosaic-virus
  • tomato-spotted-wilt
  • replicase-mediated resistance
  • leaf-curl-virus
  • nicotiana-benthamiana plants
  • pathogen-derived resistance
  • broad-spectrum resistance
  • coat protein gene
  • single-chain antibodies
  • negative-strand rna


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