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Intracellular Localization and Movement Phenotypes of Alfalfa mosaic virus Movement Protein Mutants

September 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  9
Pages  1,063 - 1,074

Mei Huang , 1 Laurian Jongejan , 2 Huanquan Zheng , 1 Lee Zhang , 1 and John F. Bol 2

1Institute of Molecular Agrobiology, One Research Link, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604; 2Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands

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Accepted 17 May 2001.

Thirteen mutations were introduced in the movement protein (MP) gene of Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and the mutant MP-GFP fusions were expressed transiently in tobacco protoplasts, tobacco suspension cells, and epidermal cells of tobacco leaves. In addition, the mutations were introduced in the MP gene of AMV RNA 3 and the mutant RNAs were used to infect tobacco plants. Ten mutants were affected in one or more of the following functions of MP: the formation of tubular structures on the surface of protoplasts, association with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of suspension cells and epidermal cells, targeting to punctate structures in the cell wall of epidermis cells, movement from transfected cells to adjacent cells in epidermis tissue, cell-to-cell movement, or long-distance movement in plants. The mutations point to functional domains of the MP and support the proposed order of events in AMV transport. Studies with several inhibitors indicate that actin or microtubule components of the cytoskeleton are not involved in tubule formation by AMV MP. Evidence was obtained that tubular structures on the surface of transfected protoplasts contain ER- or plasmalemma-derived material.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society