Molecular breeding of transgenic white clover (Trifolium repens L.) with field resistance to Alfalfa mosaic virus through the expression of its coat protein gene Academic Article uri icon


  • Viral diseases, such as Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), cause significant reductions in the productivity and vegetative persistence of white clover plants in the field. Transgenic white clover plants ectopically expressing the viral coat protein gene encoded by the sub-genomic RNA4 of AMV were generated. Lines carrying a single copy of the transgene were analysed at the molecular, biochemical and phenotypic level under glasshouse and field conditions. Field resistance to AMV infection, as well as mitotic and meiotic stability of the transgene, were confirmed by phenotypic evaluation of the transgenic plants at two sites within Australia. The T(0) and T(1) generations of transgenic plants showed immunity to infection by AMV under glasshouse and field conditions, while the T(4) generation in an agronomically elite 'Grasslands Sustain' genetic background, showed a very high level of resistance to AMV in the field. An extensive biochemical study of the T(4) generation of transgenic plants, aiming to evaluate the level and composition of natural toxicants and key nutritional parameters, showed that the composition of the transgenic plants was within the range of variation seen in non-transgenic populations.


publication date

  • June 2012