Partial and Full PCR-Based Reverse Genetics Strategy for Influenza Viruses

Hongjun Chen, Jianqiang Ye, Kemin Xu, Matthew Angel, Hongxia Shao, Andrea Ferrero, Troy Sutton, Daniel R. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Since 1999, plasmid-based reverse genetics (RG) systems have revolutionized the way influenza viruses are studied. However, it is not unusual to encounter cloning difficulties for one or more influenza genes while attempting to recover virus de novo. To overcome some of these shortcomings we sought to develop partial or full plasmid-free RG systems. The influenza gene of choice is assembled into a RG competent unit by virtue of overlapping PCR reactions containing a cDNA copy of the viral gene segment under the control of RNA polymerase I promoter (pol1) and termination (t1) signals - herein referred to as Flu PCR amplicons. Transfection of tissue culture cells with either HA or NA Flu PCR amplicons and 7 plasmids encoding the remaining influenza RG units, resulted in efficient virus rescue. Likewise, transfections including both HA and NA Flu PCR amplicons and 6 RG plasmids also resulted in efficient virus rescue. In addition, influenza viruses were recovered from a full set of Flu PCR amplicons without the use of plasmids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere46378
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 28 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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