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Requirement of the Movement Protein for Long Distance Spread of Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Grafted Plants

August 1997 , Volume 10 , Number  6
Pages  691 - 699

Patricio Arce-Johnson , 1 Ulrich Reimann-Philipp , 1 Hal S. Padgett , 1 Rafael Rivera-Bustamante , 2 and Roger N. Beachy 1

1Department of Cell Biology, Division of Plant Biology BCC 206, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 No. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, U.S.A.; 2Departamento de Ingeniería Genética de Plantas, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN (CINVESTAV), Unidad Irapuato, Apartado Postal 629, 36500 Irapuato, Guanajuato, México

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Accepted 19 May 1997.

Systemic spread of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) that lacks a functional movement protein (TMVΔMP) was investigated in grafted tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. Transgenic plants that express the 30-kDa movement protein (MP) gene (MP) under the control of the rolC (phloem-specific) or pal2 (xylem-specific) promoters were unable to support systemic infection by the mutant virus, while plants that express the MP gene from the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (35S:MP) led to systemic infection. Doubly grafted plants were constructed in which plants containing the 35S:MP gene were used as root stock and plants carrying various MP constructs constituted the middle scion. The upper scion contained the 35S:MP gene in plants that produce a hypersensitive response when systemically infected by TMV. TMVΔMP moved systemically and produced complete necrosis in the upper scion when expression of MP in the middle scion was under the control of the rolC or 35S promoter, but not when the pal2 promoter was used. When plants expressing a gene encoding a defective MP were used as the middle scion, there was no systemic infection by TMVΔMP, and a delay in systemic infection by wild-type TMV. In grafted plants with middle scions that expressed the TMV 54 kDa gene sequence there was no apparent systemic infection by TMVΔMP in the upper scion. The results obtained indicate that the MP has a role in long distance movement, and support the suggestion that replication is necessary for systemic infection of these grafted plants.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society