Harnessing Virus-Induced Gene Silencing for Crop Improvement in Vegetables


  • Zainab Tariq Department of Botany, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Atika Iffat Department of Horticulture, Bahaudin Zakriya University Multan, Pakistan
  • Sharif Ullah Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Hussain Ali Entomology Section Agriculture Research Institute Mingora Swat




Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), RNA interference (RNAi), vegetable crops, crop improvement, pathogen resistance, stress tolerance, quality traits, viral vectors, gene editing.


Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a powerful tool for crop improvement that harnesses the natural defense mechanism of RNA interference (RNAi) to selectively silence target genes in plants. This innovative approach holds significant promise for enhancing vegetable crop resilience against pests, diseases, and environmental stresses. VIGS exploits viral vectors to deliver genetic material that triggers RNAi and degradation of specific mRNAs, modulating gene expression in a targeted manner. The transient and sequence-specific nature of VIGS allows researchers to rapidly investigate gene functions and manipulate traits of interest without permanently altering the plant's genome. Applications of VIGS in diverse vegetable crops like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and cucurbits have demonstrated its potential for conferring pathogen resistance, improving stress tolerance, and enhancing quality traits such as fruit size, nutritional content, and flavor. Despite its advantages, VIGS has limitations, including potential off-target effects and varying efficiencies across crops. Ongoing research aims to advance viral vectors, optimize delivery methods, and integrate VIGS with other gene editing techniques to enhance precision and applicability. Responsible adoption of VIGS technology is crucial, necessitating the establishment of regulatory frameworks and addressing ethical considerations regarding environmental impacts and unintended consequences. This review highlights the mechanism, applications, advantages, and future prospects of VIGS as a transformative approach for vegetable crop improvement to address global agricultural challenges.


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How to Cite

Harnessing Virus-Induced Gene Silencing for Crop Improvement in Vegetables. (2024). International Journal of Research and Advances in Agricultural Sciences, 3(1), 23-30. https://doi.org/10.8726/nhtge587

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