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The 25-kDa Movement Protein of PVX Elicits Nb-Mediated Hypersensitive Cell Death in Potato

June 1999 , Volume 12 , Number  6
Pages  536 - 543

Isabelle Malcuit , 1 , 2 María Rosa Marano , 1 Tony A. Kavanagh , 2 Walter De Jong , 1 Alec Forsyth , 1 and David C. Baulcombe 1

1The Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UH, U.K.; 2Department of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

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Accepted 8 March 1999.

The potato gene Nb confers hypersensitive resistance to potato virus X (PVX). To characterize the viral elicitor of this resistance we introduced modifications into the genome of avirulent strains (ROTH1 and CP2) and virulent strains (UK3 and CP4) of PVX. From the analysis of the modified viral genomes, the Nb avirulence determinant was mapped in the PVX 25K gene coding for the 25-kDa movement protein. Furthermore, we showed that the isoleucine residue at position 6 of this protein was required for activation of the Nb response. Transient co-expression of the avirulent 25K gene with the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene introduced by particle bombardment in resistant and susceptible potato cells confirmed that the elicitor activity provided by the 25-kDa protein did not require other PVX-encoded proteins. To study cellular events associated with the Nb response, the 25-kDa proteins of PVX strains ROTH1 and UK3 were tagged with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) so that the dynamics of the subcellular distribution of the 25KGFP fusion proteins could be followed in living potato epidermal cells by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Using this method, we showed that the Nb-mediated response is associated with degradation of subcellular structures.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society