Rice Tungro Disease is considered as rice cancer as it causes symptoms, such as stunted growth, yellow to orange leaf discoloration, and fewer reproductive tillers that are difficult to control once manifested in rice plants. The RF2a gene was found to increase tolerance of rice plants to tungro virus. Researchers from Indonesian Institute of Sciences transferred and overexpressed the gene in rice cultivar IR64 via Agrobacterium mediated transformation using the pCAMBIA vector. We reported the overexpression of RF2a in transgenic rice plants cultivar IR64. Results showed better tolerance of the transgenic rice lines compared with non-transgenic IR64, with comparable tolerance levels tungro virus-tolerant rice cultivar Tukad Petanu. They also confirmed the role of the gene in the tolerance mechanism via qRT PCR and found increased levels of the gene in tolerant rice plants and low expression in the non-tolerant ones. (Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)
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