transgenic-small.pngSuperior Ornithogalum hybrids are susceptible to Ornithogalum mosaic virus (OrMV), a potyvirus that causes severe leaf mosaic symptoms as well as flower deformation. A strategy of virus resistance through gene silencing (RNA interference or RNAi) was employed to produce Ornithogalum plants resistant to OrMV.

In the construct used for transformation, the OrMV coat protein gene was cloned to be expressed as a self-complementary hairpin RNA, that would be detected by plants to trigger defence responses that destructs the invading virus’ genomic RNA. Molecular characterisation of the transgenic plants were performed and glasshouse efficacy trials are underway.

Contact: Dr Inge Gazendam


Gazendam I. 2012. Transformation of Ornithogalum for virus resistance. Annual GDARD Research Symposium, Saint George's Hotel, Irene, Pretoria, 6 June 2012.

Gazendam I., Matsaunyane L.B.T., Greyling R., Cloete M., Mabasa K., Mogotlane D. and Oelofse D. 2015. Transformation of Ornithogalum for virus resistance. GDARD 8th annual Agriculture Research Symposium, Midrand Conference Centre, Midrand, 4 June 2015.

>>> Back to Viruses