A sugarcane mosaic virus vector for gene expression in maize

Thumbnail Image
Mei, Yu
Liu, Guanjun
Zhang, Chunquan
Hill, John
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Whitham, Steven
Assistant Professor
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
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.
Journal Issue
Is Version Of

Zea mays L. ssp. mays (maize) is an important crop plant as well as model system for genetics and plant biology. The ability to select among different virus‐based platforms for transient gene silencing or protein expression experiments is expected to facilitate studies of gene function in maize and complement experiments with stable transgenes. Here, we describe the development of a sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) vector for the purpose of protein expression in maize. An infectious SCMV cDNA clone was constructed, and heterologous genetic elements were placed between the protein 1 (P1) and helper component‐proteinase (HC‐Pro) cistrons in the SCMV genome. Recombinant SCMV clones engineered to express green fluorescent protein (GFP), β‐glucuronidase (GUS), or bialaphos resistance (BAR) protein were introduced into sweet corn (Golden × Bantam) plants. Documentation of developmental time courses spanning maize growth from seedling to tasseling showed that the SCMV genome tolerates insertion of foreign sequences of at least 1,809 nucleotides at the P1/HC‐Pro junction. Analysis of insert stability showed that the integrity of GFP and BAR coding sequences was maintained longer than that of the much larger GUS coding sequence. The SCMV isolate from which the expression vector is derived is able to infect several important maize inbred lines, suggesting that this SCMV vector has potential to be a valuable tool for gene functional analysis in a broad range of experimentally important maize genotypes.


This article is published as Mei, Yu, Guanjun Liu, Chunquan Zhang, John H. Hill, and Steven A. Whitham. "A sugarcane mosaic virus vector for gene expression in maize." Plant Direct 3, no. 8 (2019): e00158. doi: 10.1002/pld3.158.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019