RNA 3 of alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) encodes the 5′-proximal movement protein (MP) gene and the 3′-proximal coat protein (CP) gene which is expressed from a subgenomic RNA. Several strategies were explored to use this RNA as a vector for expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) in Nicotiana tabaccum plants expressing the viral polymerase proteins P1 and P2 (P12 plants). Insertion of a subgenomic promoter (sgp)-GFP cassette between the CP gene and the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) interfered with RNA accumulation in protoplasts, indicating that cis -acting sequences required for replication were disrupted. When GFP was fused to the N-terminus of MP or CP, the chimeric RNAs accumulated in protoplasts but cell-to-cell movement in plants was blocked. Insertion of a GFP-sgp cassette immediately upstream of the CP gene caused a hypersensitive host response. However, insertion of a GFP-sgp cassette upstream of the MP gene did not affect symptom formation and yielded a vector that expressed GFP in inoculated but not in the systemic leaves of both P12 tobacco and non-transgenic N. benthamina plants. When the size of the GFP gene was reduced from 700 to 300 nucleotides, virus infection was observed in the non-inoculated leaves. Analysis of the progeny of some chimera revealed novel data on replication, encapsidation and recombination of AMV RNA 3.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2001
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