Geminiviruses have spread worldwide and have become increasingly important in crop plants during recent decades. Recombination among geminiviruses was one major source of new variants. Geminiviruses replicate via rolling circles, confirmed here by electron microscopic visualization and two‐dimensional gel analysis of Abutilon mosaic virus (AbMV) DNA. However, only a minority of DNA intermediates are consistent with this model. The majority are compatible with recombination‐dependent replication (RDR). During development of naturally infected leaves, viral intermediates compatible with both models appeared simultaneously, whereas agro‐infection of leaf discs with AbMV led to an early appearance of RDR forms but no RCR intermediates. Inactivation of viral genes ac2 and ac3 delayed replication, but produced the same DNA types as after wild‐type infection, indicating that these genes were not essential for RDR in leaf discs. In conclusion, host factors alone or in combination with the viral AC1 protein are necessary and sufficient for the production of RDR intermediates. The consequences of an inherent geminiviral recombination activity for the use of pathogen‐derived resistance traits are discussed.
The EMBO Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2001
Keywords: ; ; ;
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