Immunity to Rice black streaked dwarf virus, a plant reovirus, can be achieved in rice plants by RNA silencing against the gene for the viroplasm component protein.
The nonstructural protein P9-1 of Rice black streaked dwarf virus has been confirmed to accumulate in viroplasms, the putative sites of viral replication, in infected plants and insects. We transformed rice plants by introducing an RNA interference construct against the P9-1-encoding gene. The resultant transgenic plants accumulated short interfering RNAs specific to the construct. All progenies produced by self-fertilization of these transgenic plants with induced RNA interference against the gene for P9-1 were resistant to infection by the virus. Our results demonstrated that interfering with the expression of a viroplasm component protein of plant reoviruses, which plays an important role in viral proliferation, might be a practical and effective way to control plant reovirus infection in crop plants.