Virus-Induced Gene Silencing and Transient Gene Expression in Soybean (Glycine max) Using Bean Pod Mottle Virus Infectious Clones

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Lincoln, Lori
Chowda-Reddy, R. V.
Dittman, Jaime
O'Rourke, Jamie
Graham, Michelle
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Whitham, Steven
Assistant Professor
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Plant Pathology and Microbiology
The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and the Department of Entomology officially merged as of September 1, 2022. The new department is known as the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology (PPEM). The overall mission of the Department is to benefit society through research, teaching, and extension activities that improve pest management and prevent disease. Collectively, the Department consists of about 100 faculty, staff, and students who are engaged in research, teaching, and extension activities that are central to the mission of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Department possesses state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities in the Advanced Research and Teaching Building and in Science II. In addition, research and extension activities are performed off-campus at the Field Extension Education Laboratory, the Horticulture Station, the Agriculture Engineering/Agronomy Farm, and several Research and Demonstration Farms located around the state. Furthermore, the Department houses the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, the Iowa Soybean Research Center, the Insect Zoo, and BugGuide. Several USDA-ARS scientists are also affiliated with the Department.
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The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a powerful and rapid approach for determining the functions of plant genes. The basis of VIGS is that a viral genome is engineered so that it can carry fragments of plant genes, typically in the 200 to 300 base pair size range. The recombinant viruses are used to infect experimental plants, and wherever the virus invades, the target gene or genes will be silenced. VIGS is thus transient, and in the span of a few weeks, it is possible to design VIGS constructs and then generate loss-of-function phenotypes through RNA silencing of the target genes. In soybean (Glycine max), the Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV) has been engineered to be valuable tool for silencing genes with diverse functions and also for over-expression of foreign genes. This protocol describes a method for designing BPMV constructs and using them to silence or transiently express genes in soybean.


This article is published as Whitham, Steven A., Lori M. Lincoln, R. V. Chowda‐Reddy, Jaime D. Dittman, Jamie A. O'Rourke, and Michelle A. Graham. "Virus‐Induced Gene Silencing and Transient Gene Expression in Soybean (Glycine max) Using Bean Pod Mottle Virus Infectious Clones." Current Protocols in Plant Biology 1 (2016): 263-283. doi: 10.1002/cppb.20012.