American Chemical Society
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Nanoparticle-dsRNA Treatment of Pollen and Root Systems of Diseased Plants Effectively Reduces the Rate of Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Contemporary Seeds

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-06, 15:37 authored by Xiang Xu, Yubing Jiao, Lili Shen, Ying Li, Yunpeng Mei, Wengang Yang, Changquan Li, Yi Cao, Fenglei Chen, Bin Li, Jinguang Yang
Most crop viruses are carried and spread by seeds. Virus-infected seeds are seed-borne viral disease infections, and thus, reducing the rate of seed infection is an urgent problem in the seed-production industry. The objective of this study was to use nanoparticles (NPs) to directly deliver dsRNA into plants or pollen to initiate RNA interference (RNAi) to reduce viral carryover in seeds. Chitosan quaternary ammonium salt (HACC), complexed with dsRNAs, was selected for targeting the genes for the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) coat protein (CP) and TMV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) to form HACC-dsRNA NPs. These NP-based dsRNAs were delivered to the plants using four different methods, including infiltration, spraying, root soaking, and pollen internalization. All four methods were able to reduce the seed-carrying rate of offspring seeds of the TMV-infected plants, with pollen internalization being the most effective in reducing the TMV-carrying rate from 95.1 to 61.1% in the control group. By measuring the plant uptake of fluorescence-labeled NPs and dsRNAs, the transportation of the HACC-dsRNA NPs into the plants was observed, and the uptake of dsRNA in combination with small RNA sequencing was further confirmed, resulting in the silencing of homologous RNA molecules during the topical application. The results demonstrated that the incidence of TMV infection was reduced by various degrees via RNAi induction without the need to develop transgenic plants. These results demonstrate the advantages of NP-based RNAi technology in breeding for disease resistance and developing a new strategy for virus-resistant breeding in plants.