Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Foxtail mosaic virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.).



Although the genome for the allotetraploid bioenergy crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been established, limitations in mutant resources have hampered in planta gene function studies toward crop optimization. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a versatile technique for transient genetic studies. Here we report the implementation of foxtail mosaic virus (FoMV)-mediated gene silencing in switchgrass in above- and below-ground tissues and at different developmental stages.


The study demonstrated that leaf rub-inoculation is a suitable method for systemic gene silencing in switchgrass. For all three visual marker genes, Magnesium chelatase subunit D (ChlD) and I (ChlI) as well as phytoene desaturase (PDS), phenotypic changes were observed in leaves, albeit at different intensities. Gene silencing efficiency was verified by RT-PCR for all tested genes. Notably, systemic gene silencing was also observed in roots, although silencing efficiency was stronger in leaves (~ 63-94%) as compared to roots (~ 48-78%). Plants at a later developmental stage were moderately less amenable to VIGS than younger plants, but also less perturbed by the viral infection.


Using FoMV-mediated VIGS could be achieved in switchgrass leaves and roots, providing an alternative approach for studying gene functions and physiological traits in this important bioenergy crop.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View