Reverse genetics is a cutting-edge tool that has revolutionized molecular virology through which viruses possessing artificial genomes can be rescued from cloned cDNA. This gave the researchers the choice and flexibility to get the modifications in the progeny virions that would be done at the genome level while constructing the cDNA. The idea led to two significant discoveries, with the first that gave an impetus in the area of live attenuated "Differentiation of infected and vaccinated animals" (DIVA) vaccines, and the second that led to a better understanding into the host-virus relationship. The DIVA vaccines developed through the reverse genetics tool have advantages of stable expression of the foreign protein coupled with the fundamental characteristics of the background virus that equates with the wild type. Rescue of DNA viruses and positive sense RNA viruses have been made easy, thanks to the less complicated replication strategies followed by them, but the non-segmented negative sense RNA viruses needs Ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex to be provided in vitro to aid in anti-genome complex necessary for their replication. This technology has also played an effective role in identifying the intricacies in viral biology, evolution and replication. This in turn has made a phenomenal progress in identifying the nuances in host-pathogen interactions, thereby establishing new insights in molecular pathogenesis. The complex interplay of viral moieties and the cellular mechanisms that respond to these variations has been simplified to a greater extent with the advent of reverse genetics, and that has changed the way the virulence mechanisms of virus have been addressed so far.
Gururaj, K. (2014). Past and Present of Reverse Genetics in Animal Virology with Special Reference to Non-Segmented Negative Stranded RNA Viruses: a Review. Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 2(3S), 40–48. https://doi.org/10.14737/journal.aavs/2014/2.3s.40.48