Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus may chauffeur useful 'packages' into plants

Date:
January 5, 2010
Source:
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Summary:
This time of year, the word "virus" conjures up a bedridden stint with coughs and chills -- something everyone goes to great lengths to avoid. But a new study shows that plant viruses may work like a trucking service loaded to carry freight to its destination. The idea is to have a virus do something good for us, like express a foreign protein and carry genetic information into a cell.

This time of year, the word "virus" conjures up a bedridden stint with coughs and chills -- something everyone goes to great lengths to avoid.

But scientists for Texas AgriLife Research have gone the distance to show that at least some viruses can be put to work to help us.

A new study by Dr. Karen-Beth Scholthof and her husband Dr. Herman Scholthof, to be published in the January issue of Virology, shows that plant viruses may work like a trucking service loaded to carry freight to its destination.

"The idea is to have a virus do something good for us, like express a foreign protein and carry genetic information into a cell," said Herman Scholthof. The Scholthofs are plant virologists with AgriLife Research.

"The use of viral vectors to produce proteins in plants is attractive because of the potential high-protein output, the transient nature, the rapid applicability and active expression and the relative cost-effectiveness of the system," the Scholthofs wrote.

A problem with this type of system, however, has been that during transport a virus loses the gene or whatever it is intended to express.

"We're trying to outsmart the virus and make it stable for the job," Karen-Beth Scholthof said.

Herman Scholthof noted that "a virus recognizes a foreign object and does away with it."

In the lab, however, the Scholthofs were able to prove that the coat or particle protein of satellite panicum mosaic virus could be used as a tool to help stabilize viral vector genes introduced in Nicotiana bethamiana, a relative of tobacco and a model plant for research.

Satellite panicum mosaic virus only infects grass that is already infected with panicum mosaic virus, the pathogen that causes St. Augustine decline. If the virus particle protein were able to transport a gene into a non-grass species, this is an indication that with further research it could be used in a positive way to help plant breeders who want to carry good traits into the crops they are developing, the Scholthofs noted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. "Virus may chauffeur useful 'packages' into plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104114634.htm>.
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. (2010, January 5). Virus may chauffeur useful 'packages' into plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104114634.htm
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. "Virus may chauffeur useful 'packages' into plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104114634.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins