Viruses have evolved mechanisms to suppress the RNA silencing defense of their hosts, allowing replication and systemic colonization. In a recent study, we found that the effect of mutations in the RNA silencing suppressor of tobacco etch virus (TEV) was variable, ranging from complete abolition of suppressor activity to significantly stronger suppression. Whereas hyposuppressor mutants were less virulent and accumulated fewer viral particles than the wild type, hypersuppressors induced symptoms similar to those of the wild type and accumulated particles to similar levels. Here, we further characterize a set of these mutants in terms of their ability to bind in vitro and induce accumulation in vivo of virus-derived siRNAs. Hyposuppressor alleles are less efficient at binding siRNAs than hypersuppressors, whereas the latter are not different from the wild type. As a consequence of lower viral accumulation, plants infected with virus bearing a hyposuppressor allele also accumulate less virus-derived siRNA.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2010
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