AHDB Horticulture Cost: £42,000
Summary: Farmers weekly (July 2015) have published an initial outcome of test planting of the oilseed rape variety Amalie which has been shown to have resistance to TuYV (Polerovirus). The difference in yield was an increase in more than 20% compared to other non-resistant commercial lines. John Walsh has previously shown that TuYV and TuMV (Potyviridae) also have a significant impact of the yield of horticultural brassica crops. Jointly we have found at least one of the genes involved in conferring broad-spectrum virus resistance. This gene is part of a complex of proteins which work together and which the polerviruses and Potyviridae interact with in order to infect the plant. Significant advances have recently been made in gene editing with techniques such as Zinc finger mutageneisis (Urnov e tal., 2010) and CRISPR/Cas 9 (Shalem et al., 2015). These techniques offer the opportunity to target individual genes within the eukaryotic translation initiation complex and to adequately address the difficulties associated with multiple copies of genes within organisms. Although such approaches are still being assessed by the EU to determine if they are distinct from standard GM techniques they offer a means by which novel resistance could be generated and hence selected for and other types of resistance genes identified from multiple candidates. Initial targets will be the eIF4E and eIF4G genes from the ancestral triploid genome of Brassica oleracea.