The resistance of transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana plants encoding wild type, truncated and point mutants of the tobacco etch virus (TEV) coat protein (CP) was analyzed. After R1 plants from 45 transgenic lines were challenged with TEV, six percent of the lines exhibited high resistance, 38% exhibited low resistance, and the remainder were susceptible. The phenomenon of recovery and delay in symptom development was observed in 65% and 56% of the resistant and susceptible lines, respectively. Plants containing genes that encode sequences of two assembly-deficient mutants of TEV-CPΔ1-63 exhibited resistance to infection, suggesting that self-assembly of the CP is not responsible for resistance. Highly resistant lines accumulated low levels of transgene mRNA and non-detectable amounts of protein, and tissues accumulated lower amounts of transgene mRNA following recovery than before infection. In addition, co-suppression of replication of a recombinant tobamovirus containing the TEV-CPΔ1-63 sequence was observed in several lines, suggesting homology-dependent degradation of RNA, most likely through induction of post-transcriptional gene silencing. Plants not exhibiting high resistance via gene silencing exhibited moderate levels of resistance that is attributed to and/or affected by the CP molecule.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2005
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