Geminiviruses are plant DNA viruses that replicate through DNA intermediates in plant nuclei. The viral components required for replication are known, but no host factors have yet been identified. We used immunolocalization to show that the replication proteins of the geminivirus tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV) are located in nuclei of terminally differentiated cells that have left the cell cycle. In addition, TGMV infection resulted in a significant accumulation of the host DNA synthesis protein proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). PCNA, an accessory factor for DNA polymerase delta, was not present at detectable levels in healthy differentiated cells. The TGMV replication protein AL1 was sufficient to induce accumulation of PCNA in terminally differentiated cells of transgenic plants. Analysis of the mechanism(s) whereby AL1 induces the accumulation of host replication machinery in quiescent plant cells will provide a unique opportunity to study plant DNA synthesis.
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