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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(8), 9992-10009; doi:10.3390/ijms13089992

RNA-Mediated Gene Silencing Signals Are Not Graft Transmissible from the Rootstock to the Scion in Greenhouse-Grown Apple Plants Malus sp.

1
Julius Kühn-Institute-Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Breeding Research on Horticultural and Fruit Crops, Dresden 01326, Germany
2
Plant Breeding Institute, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Kiel 24098, Germany
3
Division Surgical Research, Regenerative Medicine Program, University and University Hospital Zurich, Zurich 8001, Switzerland
4
Gregor Mendel Institute for Molecular Plant Biology GmbH, Vienna 2000-2419, Austria
5
Unit of Fruit Science, Department for Plant Sciences, Technical University Munich, Freising 85356, Germany
6
Plant Biochemistry and Physiology, Biocenter Botany, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Planegg-Martinsried 82152, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2012 / Revised: 18 July 2012 / Accepted: 25 July 2012 / Published: 10 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Plant Biology)
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Abstract

RNA silencing describes the sequence specific degradation of RNA targets. Silencing is a non-cell autonomous event that is graft transmissible in different plant species. The present study is the first report on systemic acquired dsRNA-mediated gene silencing of transgenic and endogenous gene sequences in a woody plant like apple. Transgenic apple plants overexpressing a hairpin gene construct of the gusA reporter gene were produced. These plants were used as rootstocks and grafted with scions of the gusA overexpressing transgenic apple clone T355. After grafting, we observed a reduction of the gusA gene expression in T355 scions in vitro, but not in T355 scions grown in the greenhouse. Similar results were obtained after silencing of the endogenous Mdans gene in apple that is responsible for anthocyanin biosynthesis. Subsequently, we performed grafting experiments with Mdans silenced rootstocks and red leaf scions of TNR31-35 in order to evaluate graft transmitted silencing of the endogenous Mdans. The results obtained suggested a graft transmission of silencing signals in in vitro shoots. In contrast, no graft transmission of dsRNA-mediated gene silencing signals was detectable in greenhouse-grown plants and in plants grown in an insect protection tent.
Keywords: anthocyanidin synthase; apple Malus spp.; graft transmissible; lignification; RNA silencing anthocyanidin synthase; apple Malus spp.; graft transmissible; lignification; RNA silencing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Flachowsky, H.; Tränkner, C.; Szankowski, I.; Waidmann, S.; Hanke, M.-V.; Treutter, D.; Fischer, T.C. RNA-Mediated Gene Silencing Signals Are Not Graft Transmissible from the Rootstock to the Scion in Greenhouse-Grown Apple Plants Malus sp.. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 9992-10009.

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