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Potato spindle tuber viroid as Inducer of RNA Silencing in Infected Tomato

November 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  11
Pages  1,332 - 1,334

Asuka Itaya , 1 Alexey Folimonov , 2 Yoshie Matsuda , 1 Richard S. Nelson , 2 and Biao Ding 1

1Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, U.S.A.; 2Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK, U.S.A.

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Accepted 12 July 2001.

Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd), an RNA plant pathogen encoding no known proteins, induces systemic symptoms on tomato plants. We report detection of small RNAs of approximately 25 nucleotides with sequence specificity to PSTVd in infected plants: an indication of the presence of RNA silencing. RNA silencing, however, did not appear to be responsible for the differing symptoms induced by a mild and a severe strain of PSTVd. The unique structural and biological features of viroids make them attractive experimental tools to investigate mechanisms of RNA silencing and pathogen counterdefense.

Additional keywords: gene silencing.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society