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Mapping of Viral Genomic Regions Important in Cross-Protection Between Strains of a Potyvirus

July 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  7
Pages  683 - 692

Jari P. T. Valkonen , 1 , 2 Minna-Liisa Rajamäki , 1 , 2 and Tuija Kekarainen 1

1Department of Plant Biology, Genetics Centre, SLU, PO Box 7080, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden; and 2Department of Applied Biology, Plant Pathology Laboratory, P.O. Box 27, University of Helsinki, Finland

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Accepted 15 March 2002.

Cross-protection was tested between potato and tobacco strains of Potato virus A, a member of the genus Potyvirus (PVA), in tobacco plants. Cross-protection was effective only at the initiation of infection. The potato strains provided only weak cross-protection against the tobacco strain, whereas the tobacco strain provided strong cross-protection against potato strains. The tamarillo strain (TamMV) showed cross-protection phenotypes mostly resembling those of the potato strains. Chimera of the PVA strains were utilized to map viral genomic regions important for cross-protection. The coat protein (CP) encoding region and the helper component proteinase (HCpro) affected cross-protection and virus accumulation. An amino acid substitution at the CP N-terminus reduced virus accumulation and the ability to overcome cross-protection, whereas amino acid substitutions introduced to the HCpro increased virus accumulation and the ability to overcome cross-protection. Closer sequence relatedness between the protector and challenger isolate, as determined by the CP-encoding sequence, was correlated with an increased cross-protection ability. Cross-protection was not overcome by inoculation with nonencapsidated viral RNA. Thus, the differences in cross-protection abilities between PVA strains and chimera were not explained with the “re-encapsidation model” described for strains of Tobacco mosaic tobamovirus but may be associated with a virus infection-induced RNA silencing mechanism.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society