1021-4437/02/4903- $27.00 © 2002
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2002, pp. 399–405. Translated from Fiziologiya Rastenii, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2002, pp. 444–450.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002 by Babosha, Boiko, Morozova.
Treatment of animal cells with interferon induces
the activity of several enzymes , including 2',5'-oli-
goadenylate synthetase (EC 18.104.22.168), which catalyzes
the transfer of adenosine monophosphate from ATP to
the available oligoadenylate chain with a concomitant
release of pyrophosphate. The reaction products are oli-
gomers consisting of 3–15 AMP residues intercon-
nected via 2',5'-bonds (2',5'-oligoadenylates, or 2-5A).
The 5'-end of these compounds can be phosphorylated
by 1–3 phosphate residues.
The 2-5A compounds, which are mediators of the
antiviral and antistress effects of interferon in animal
and human cells, were also found to exhibit activity in
plant tissues . Successful attempts were made to use
these substances for elimination of viruses from potato
plants by the method of apical meristem culturing .
The spraying of potato and wheat stands with 2-5A ana-
logs led to an increase in the yield and product quality .
One of the components of the interferon-like mech-
anism in tobacco plants is an enzyme, similar to animal
2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase, and oligoadenylates
were synthesized by this enzyme . Like 2-5A, plant
oligoadenylates (POA) exhibit antiviral activity, inhibit
protein synthesis in the cell-free system [6, 7], and
exhibit cytokinin-like properties in bioassays . Plant
analogs of 2-5A are known to contain covalently bound
AMP residues . However, the POA structure differs
from the structure of 2-5A synthesized in animal tis-
sues, as indicated by the differences in their mobility
during separation by thin-layer chromatography, by
different composition of products formed after treat-
ment with bacterial alkaline phosphatase, and by the
absence of competition with 2-5A for binding sites of
animal endonuclease L .
The goal of this work was to study antiviral, growth-
regulating, and antistress properties of the POA and the
prospects for their use in the elimination of viral infec-
tions in potatoes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We studied potato
L. plants of
seven economically important cultivars and hybrids
(Table 1). Regenerants were obtained from the mer-
istem of explants by the routine method . Major
stages of this procedure were as follows: sprouting of
potato tubers in darkness, excision of the apex of 200–
m in size from the apical buds of etiolated tuber
plant regeneration on agar-solidi-
Effect of Plant Oligoadenylates on Viral Infection
and Antistress and Growth-Regulating Properties
in Potato Plants Grown
A. V. Babosha*, V. V. Boiko**, and Z. R. Morozova**
*Main Botanical Garden, Russian Academy of Sciences, Botanicheskaya ul. 4, Moscow, 127276 Russia;
**All-Russia Research Institute of Potato Growing, Korenevo, Moscow oblast, Russia
Received April 9, 2001
—Biological properties of plant oligoadenylates (POA) were studied in
L.) plants. POA were synthesized by ATP polymerization in the presence of an enzyme
preparation isolated from leaves of wild potato
Bitt. treated with resistance inducers. The
concentration of viral antigen was determined by the method of immunoenzyme analysis. In the course of virus
elimination by the apical meristem method, pretreatment of potato tuber sprouts with POA increased the sur-
vival rate of meristem explants and, in several cultivars, enhanced morphogenesis and increased the yield of
virus-free regenerants. Prolonged application of POA in the nutrient medium for microcutting of potato tube
with X-, S-, and M-viruses increased their height due to internode lengthening. The
effect of this treatment on virus reproduction was ambiguous: various combinations of virus species, the dura-
tion of growth on POA-containing media, and POA concentration resulted in either statistically signiﬁcant inhi-
bition or a signiﬁcant enhancement of virus reproduction. Possible mechanisms of the antistress effect of POA,
in connection with their effect on virus reproduction, are discussed.
Key words: Solanum tuberosum - oligoadenylates - antiviral compounds - tissue culture - virus elimination by
apical meristem method - interferon-like mechanism
: 2-5A—2',5'-oligoadenylates; POA—plant oli-