• Open Access

Maize streak virus-resistant transgenic maize: a first for Africa

Authors

  • Dionne N. Shepherd,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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  • Tichaona Mangwende,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
    2. Division of Pharmacology, University of Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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  • Darren P. Martin,

    1. Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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  • Marion Bezuidenhout,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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  • Frederik J. Kloppers,

    1. PANNAR (PTY) Limited, PO Box 19, Greytown 3250, South Africa
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  • Charlene H. Carolissen,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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  • Adérito L. Monjane,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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  • Edward P. Rybicki,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
    2. Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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    • J. A. Thomson and E. P. Rybicki contributed equally to this paper.

  • Jennifer A. Thomson

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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    • J. A. Thomson and E. P. Rybicki contributed equally to this paper.


* Correspondence (fax +27 (0) 21 650 2646; e-mail dionne.shepherd@uct.ac.za)

Summary

In this article, we report transgene-derived resistance in maize to the severe pathogen maize streak virus (MSV). The mutated MSV replication-associated protein gene that was used to transform maize showed stable expression to the fourth generation. Transgenic T2 and T3 plants displayed a significant delay in symptom development, a decrease in symptom severity and higher survival rates than non-transgenic plants after MSV challenge, as did a transgenic hybrid made by crossing T2 Hi-II with the widely grown, commercial, highly MSV-susceptible, white maize genotype WM3. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first maize to be developed with transgenic MSV resistance and the first all-African-produced genetically modified crop plant.

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