APS Homepage

Poster: Molecular & Cellular Plant-Microbe Interactions: Biotechnology


Co-expression of proteins by two virus vectors in the same cells of infected plants
M. Mendoza (1), H. Scholthof (1) (1) Texas A&M University, U.S.A.

Plant viral vectors represent a technology that allows expression of valuable proteins at high levels in a relatively short time. For many purposes it may be desirable to express more then one protein in a single cell but that is often not feasible when using a single virus vector. Such a co-expression strategy requires the simultaneous delivery by two non-competitive viruses to express proteins. Here we report on the use of two agro-launchable virus vector systems based on Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) that both express suppressors to minimize the effects of Argonaute2-mediated silencing. To co-express proteins we used TBSV and TMV each expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) of different sizes, in addition to co-expressing TBSV-GFP with TMV expressing red fluorescent protein (RFP). The results in Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato demonstrated that these two vectors accumulated in the same plant, same leaves, and in the same cells. Therefore, co-expression by these two vectors provides a biotechnological platform for fast and high level expression of potentially valuable proteins that need to form oligomers for activity.