J Integr Plant Biol ›› 2018, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (1): 34-44.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12599

• Plant-pathogen Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Graft-accelerated virus-induced gene silencing facilitates functional genomics in rose flowers

Huijun Yan1†, Shaochuan Shi2†, Nan Ma2, Xiaoqian Cao2, Hao Zhang1, Xianqin Qiu1, Qigang Wang1, Hongying Jian1, Ningning Zhou1, Zhao Zhang2* and Kaixue Tang1*   

  1. 1Flower Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 650205 Kunming, China
    2Beijing Key Laboratory of Development and Quality Control of Ornamental Crops, Department of Ornamental Horticulture, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China
  • Received:2017-07-11 Accepted:2017-09-10 Published:2017-09-12
  • About author:These authors contributed equally to this work
    **Correspondences: E-mail: Zhao Zhang (zhangzhao@cau.edu.cn), Kaixue Tang (kxtang@hotmail.com, Dr. Tang is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)


Rose has emerged as a model ornamental plant for studies of flower development, senescence, and morphology, as well as the metabolism of floral fragrances and colors. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) has long been used in functional genomics studies of rose by vacuum infiltration of cuttings or seedlings with an Agrobacterium suspension carrying TRV-derived vectors. However, VIGS in rose flowers remains a challenge because of its low efficiency and long time to establish silencing. Here we present a novel and rapid VIGS method that can be used to analyze gene function in rose, called ‘graft-accelerated VIGS’, where axillary sprouts are cut from the rose plant and vacuum infiltrated with Agrobacterium. The inoculated scions are then grafted back onto the plants to flower and silencing phenotypes can be observed within 5 weeks, post-infiltration. Using this new method, we successfully silenced expression of the RhDFR1, RhAG, and RhNUDX1 in rose flowers, and affected their color, petal number, as well as fragrance, respectively. This grafting method will facilitate high-throughput functional analysis of genes in rose flowers. Importantly, it may also be applied to other woody species that are not currently amenable to VIGS by conventional leaf or plantlet/seedling infiltration methods.

We report the establishment of a novel, rapid and efficient method for gene knocking-down in rose, which facilitates functional analysis of genes involved in color, fragrance as well as development of rose flowers.
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