Saturday, September 26, 2020
Molecular Virology and Gene Silencing

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Group Leader:

Dr. Shahid Mansoor, SI

Team Members:


Molecular virology and gene silencing lab in NIBGE is one of the leading international groups in the field of plant virology. The related scientific projects that are being carried out at NIBGE are: Diversity and molecular characterization of begomovirus DNA components  (DNA A, nanovirus-like alphasatellite and betasatellite)  infecting cotton, tomato, chilies, pepper, tobacco, lufa, okra, weeds and other alternate hosts; cloning of the partial dimers which could produce infection; multiple infection and recombination in geminiviruses.  Molecular characterization of White flies (Bemasia tabbaci). Virus host interaction studies. Role of individual genes (AC1, AC2, AC3, AC4, βC1, BC1 and BV1) in inducing or suppression of infection is being revealed. Characterization of βC1 gene has also been done. Different strategies are being followed to develop genetically-engineered resistance against CLCuKoV-Bur and Tomato Leaf Curl Virus (ToLCV); using both protein mediated and RNA based strategies. Search for strong and  inducible plant promoters for desirable expression of transgenes is going on.  Use of suppressors of  gene silencing for the enhanced expression of transgene is also being conducted. Evaluation of two different approaches to control sucking pests; Expression of two toxic proteins HVT and lectin under phloem specific promoter in N. tabacum and exposing it to mealy bugs, aphids and whiteflies. Transient expression of HVT and lectin fusion protein. RNAi is being used to create tomato male sterile plants for hybrid seed production and also for the resistance in tomato and cotton. The same RNAi technique is being used against different genes (aquaporin, alpha glucosidase, acetyl choline esterase, ecdysone receptor and heat shock protein) of the Whitefly to control its population as they are the carrier of these viruses. Moreover, our group is actively involved in the utilization of viral vector as VIGS for functional genomics studies. The customizable site specific genome editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9  will be exploited in conferring molecular immunity to cotton against biotic and abiotic stresses.  

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