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EMBO J. 1997 Aug 1;16(15):4738-45.

Systemic acquired silencing: transgene-specific post-transcriptional silencing is transmitted by grafting from silenced stocks to non-silenced scions.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, INRA, Versailles, France.

Erratum in

  • EMBO J 1998 Apr 1;17(7):2137.


Using grafting procedures, we investigated the transmission of co-suppression of nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase host genes and transgenes and of post-transcriptional silencing of a uidA transgene encoding glucuronidase in tobacco. We demonstrate that silencing is transmitted with 100% efficiency from silenced stocks to non-silenced scions expressing the corresponding transgene. Transmission is unidirectional from stock to scion, transgene specific, locus independent and requires the presence of a transcriptionally active transgene in the target scion. The transmission of co-suppression occurs when silenced stocks and non-silenced target scions are physically separated by up to 30 cm of stem of a non-target wild-type plant. Taken together, these results suggest that a non-metabolic, transgene-specific, diffusable messenger mediates the propagation of de novo post-transcriptional silencing through the plant.

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