Engineering resistance against tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) using antisense RNA.
The use of antisense RNAs to interfere with the disease caused by tomato yellow leaf curl bigeminivirus (TYLCV) is investigated. The target of the antisense RNA is the rare messenger RNA of the Rep protein, encoded by the C1 gene. Transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana plants expressing C1 antisense RNA were obtained and shown to resist infection by TYLCV. Some of the resistant lines are symptomless, and the replication of challenge TYLCV almost completely suppressed. The transgenes mediating resistance were shown to be effective through at least two generations of progeny.