Conferring resistance to geminiviruses with the CRISPR-Cas prokaryotic immune system

Published: NATURE PLANTS Authors: Baltes, NJ; Hummel, AW; Konecna, E; Cegan, R; Bruns, AN; Bisaro, DM; Voytas, DF Year: 2015

Abstract

To reduce crop losses due to geminivirus infection, we targeted the bean yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV) genome for destruction with the CRISPR-Cas (clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated proteins) system. Transient assays using BeYDV-based replicons revealed that CRISPR-Cas reagents introduced mutations within the viral genome and reduced virus copy number. Transgenic plants expressing CRISPR-Cas reagents and challenged with BeYDV had reduced virus load and symptoms, thereby demonstrating a novel strategy for engineering resistance to geminiviruses.