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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Project's abstracts and scientific objectives

TESS Project

This website is the communication tool between international teams in Chile, Italy and France for the RISE TESS project about genetic engineering to sharka.


Project Number: 777794

The  project's coordinator is Véronique DECROOCQ from INRA BFP France.


Plant viruses cause an estimated 50 billion € loss worldwide per year. Viral diseases represent one of the most limiting factors in European crop production having negative effects on the quantity and quality of foodstuffs. The recent identification of plant factors required for virus infection, together with the development of functional genomic tools in several economically important crops, offer novel opportunities to protect crop plants against viral diseases. The scope of TESS is to capitalize on the latest biotechnological tools in order to manipulate the plant/virus interactions towards non-host resistance and to match the research outputs with fruit industry and breeding applications. TESS benefits from multidisciplinary research teams involving genomics, tissue culture, molecular biology, virology and plant breeding. It focuses on Prunus species for stone fruit trees. The originality of TESS is to test the generic mode of interference of plant viruses with their host during the infection and use this information to implement complex and durable resistance in perennial fruit tree species.



The recent identification of plant factors required for the Plum pox virus infection cycle (Decroocq et al., 2006; Nicaise et al., 2007; Huang et al., 2010; Pagny et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2013; Poque et al., 2015) (patent PCT/EP2012/063513 together with the development of functional genomic tools and stable or transient genetic transformation in Prunus species such as P. salicina (Urtubia et al., 2008); P. persica (patent CL2011-001674); and cherry (FONDEF-Chile G09i1008), offer novel opportunities to protect stone fruit plants against sharka. Our goal in TESS is to engineer Prunus susceptibility genes either to create, by genome editing, a collection of de novo non-functional susceptibility genes (i.e. Knocked-Out KO genes) or to target specific amino-acids (AA) which are relevant for compatible plant/virus interactions, without knocking-out the host gene(s), to avoid any side effect for the plant. They will later be combined with over-expressed flowering time regulator cassettes, to promote early flowering, shorten the juvenile phase and allow rapid selection of mutants in those perennial species. The side effects caused by the mutation(s) in the targeted genes will be checked for their usefulness for further application before delivery to end users.

Consequently, TESS will use a combination of experimental approaches to manipulate susceptibility and flowering genes and provide a collection of plum and peach individuals that will be surveyed, more rapidly, for mutations leading to resistance to sharka. In the last phase of the process, we shall eliminate any exogenous gene cassettes and thus deliver transgene-free, plant material.







INIA Santiago de Chile