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February 18, 2018

069 – Fighting Plant Viruses with RNA – and Clay!


 There are no compounds that can be sprayed to fight plant viruses, so plant protection requires managing the insects that spread them.  This means use of insecticides that cost money and have potential impacts, such as affecting non-target insects.  Scientists have successfully used RNA-based strategies to fight plant viruses, but that has been through use of transgenic approaches where genetic material of the virus is expressed by the plant cell, triggering resistance.  Dr. Neena Mitter uses a different approach.  Her team has successfully suppressed viruses with sustained resistance using RNA delivered with clay-based nanoparticles.  The approach suppresses the virus, and now is being translated to field trials.  Hosted by Dr. Paul Vincelli.

Dr. Mitter’s website is here:

Follow Dr. Paul Vincelli  @pvincell

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