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Genetic transformation of passionfruit plant for resistance to fruit woodiness virus (Passionfruit Woodiness Virus - PWV)


Brazil is presently the largest producer of yellow passionfruit (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa) in the world, with an estimated-planted area of 44,462 ha in 1996. This number represents an increment of 75,5% to the cultivated area in 1990, which were approximately 25,329 ha. This increment in the passionflower planted area was followed by an increase on the damage caused by fungi, bacteria and virus diseases. Among these diseases, passionfruit woodiness, caused by Passionfruit woodiness virus (PWV), occurs in all regions where this crop is grown and is responsible for severe yield losses every year. In spite of the severity of passionfruit woodiness, very few works have been done in Brazil in order to study different alternatives for the control of this disease. Preimmunization (cross protection) with mild strains of the virus, that do not have any significative effect on plant development and yield, has been investigated in São Paulo state since 1997 as an alternative for the control of this disease. However, the results obtained until now have shown that this method is not effective for controlling passionfruit woodiness, due to break down on protection. The causes for the failure of mild strain protection are under investigation. Therefore, the main purpose of this project is to transform passionflower with the coat protein gene of PWV and to evaluate the resistance of the transgenic plants to this virus. Indirect (Agrobacterium) and direct (biobalistic and electroporation) methods will be tried for plant transformation. Development of transgenic passionflower resistant to PWV may become an efficient alternative for the control of passionfruit woodiness in the near future. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TREVISAN‚ F.; MENDES‚ BMJ; MACIEL‚ SC; VIEIRA‚ MLC; MELETTI‚ LMM; REZENDE‚ JAM. Resistance to Passion fruit woodiness virus in transgenic passionflower expressing the virus coat protein gene. PLANT DISEASE, v. 90, n. 8, p. 1026-1030, . (01/14481-3)

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