An entirely plasmid-based reverse genetics system for rotaviruses was established very recently. We improved the reverse genetics system to generate recombinant rotavirus by transfecting only 11 cDNA plasmids for its 11 gene segments under the condition of increasing the ratio of the cDNA plasmids for NSP2 and NSP5 genes. Utilizing this highly efficient system, we then engineered infectious recombinant rotaviruses expressing bioluminescent (NanoLuc luciferase) and fluorescent (enhanced green fluorescent protein [EGFP] and mCherry) reporters. These recombinant rotaviruses expressing reporters remained genetically stable during serial passages. Our reverse genetics approach and recombinant rotaviruses carrying reporter genes will be great additions to the tool kit for studying the molecular virology of rotavirus and for developing future next-generation vaccines and expression vectors.
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