Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-CSIC, Av. de los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia-Spain
We used the interaction of Hop stunt viroid (HSVd) and cucumber plants to investigate the involvement of phloem proteins in the systemic transport of RNA molecules. A ribonucleoprotein complex, stable even at high salt and temperature conditions, was detected in vitro between HSVd-RNA and the phloem exudate obtained from sectioned internodes from cucumber plants. The phloem protein 2 was recovered from this ribonucleoprotein complex and its RNA-binding properties as demonstrated by gel retardation analysis. The involvement of this protein in the movement of RNAs in cucumber is discussed.