A defective replicase gene induces resistance to cucumber mosaic virus in transgenic tobacco plants

Anderson, J.M.; Palukaitis, P.; Zaitlin, M.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 89(18): 8759-8763


ISSN/ISBN: 0027-8424
PMID: 1528890
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.89.18.8759
Accession: 002283252

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Nicotiana tabacum cv. Turkish Samsun NN plants were transformed with a modified and truncated replicase gene encoded by RNA-2 of cucumber mosaic virus strain Fny. The replicase gene had been modified by deleting a 94-base-pair region spanning nucleotides 1857-1950; the deletion also caused a shift in the open reading frame, resulting in a truncated translation product approximately 75% as large as the full-length protein. Upon transformation via Agrobacterium tumefaciens, transgenic plants were obtained that were resistant to virus disease when challenged with either cucumber mosaic virus virions or RNA at concentrations up to 500 micrograms/ml or 50 micrograms/ml, respectively, the highest concentrations tested. This resistance was absolute, as neither symptoms nor virus could be detected in uninoculated leaves, even after prolonged incubation (120 days after inoculation). These data suggest, therefore, that such a "replicase-mediated" resistance strategy may be applicable to other plant and animal viruses.