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Fighting the tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus

Scientists find effective defence strategy by a resistant tomato cultivar

Scientists of the National Institute of Plant Genomics Research (NIPGR) have studied an effective defence strategy used by a resistant tomato cultivar against Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) that leads to severe losses in tomato yield worldwide, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said on Monday. Lack of information on resistance (R) genes against ToLCNDV has considerably retarded the pace of crop improvement against this rapidly spreading pathogen. 

Several attempts have been made to identify antiviral genes against ToLCNDV and related viruses.

"It employs Sw5a (R gene) that recognizes AC4 protein (viral effector) of ToLCNDV to restrict virus spread. At the transcriptional level, the sly-miR159-SlMyb33 module has been identified as governing gene expression of Sw5a,” the DBT said.

"These findings could be translated into the development of resistance in susceptible cultivars of tomato through modern breeding or molecular approaches," it said. 

This work was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 

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