Development of the vigs system in the dioecious plant silene latifolia

Naoko Fujita, Yusuke Kazama, Noriko Yamagishi, Kyoko Watanabe, Saki Ando, Hiroyuki Tsuji, Shigeyuki Kawano, Nobuyuki Yoshikawa, Ken Komatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


(1) Background: Silene latifolia is a dioecious plant, whose sex is determined by XY-type sex chromosomes. Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae is a smut fungus that infects S. latifolia plants and causes masculinization in female flowers, as if Microbotryum were acting as a sex-determining gene. Recent large-scale sequencing efforts have promised to provide candidate genes that are involved in the sex determination machinery in plants. These candidate genes are to be analyzed for functional characterization. A virus vector can be a tool for functional gene analyses; (2) Methods: To develop a viral vector system in S. latifolia plants, we selected Apple latent spherical virus (ALSV) as an appropriate virus vector that has a wide host range; (3) Results: Following the optimization of the ALSV inoculation method, S. latifolia plants were infected with ALSV at high rates in the upper leaves. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that ALSV can migrate into the flower meristems in S. latifolia plants. Successful VIGS (virus-induced gene silencing) in S. latifolia plants was demonstrated with knockdown of the phytoene desaturase gene. Finally, the developed method was applied to floral organ genes to evaluate its usability in flowers; (4) Conclusion: The developed system enables functional gene analyses in S. latifolia plants, which can unveil gene functions and networks of S. latifolia plants, such as the mechanisms of sex determination and fungal-induced masculinization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1031
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ALSV
  • Dioecious plant
  • Microbotryum
  • XY chromosomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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