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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Broad resistance to plant viruses in transgenic plants conferred by antisense inhibition of a host gene essential in S-adenosylmethionine-dependent transmethylation reactions.

S-Adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase (SAHH) is a key enzyme in transmethylation reactions that use S-adenosylmethionine as the methyl donor. Because of the importance of SAHH in a number of S-adenosylmethionine-dependent transmethylation reactions, particularly the 5' capping of mRNA during viral replication, SAHH has been considered as a target of potential antiviral agents against animal viruses. To test the possibility of engineering a broad type of resistance to plant viruses, we expressed the antisense RNA for tobacco SAHH in transgenic tobacco plants. As expected, transgenic plants constitutively expressing an anti-sense SAHH gene showed resistance to infection by various plant viruses. Among those plants, about half exhibited some level of morphological change (typically stunting). Analysis of the physiological change in those plants showed that they contained excess levels of cytokinin. Because cytokinin has been found to induce acquired resistance, there is also a strong possibility that the observed resistance was induced by cytokinin.[1]


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