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.
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We thank K. Leffler for the help in generating the figures. We thank J. Gil for technical assistance with the qPCR experiment. This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (IOS-1339209).
N.J.B., A.W.H. and D.F.V. are inventors on a patent application (WO2015048707A2) for the technology described in this work.
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Baltes, N., Hummel, A., Konecna, E. et al. Conferring resistance to geminiviruses with the CRISPR–Cas prokaryotic immune system. Nature Plants 1, 15145 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2015.145
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