Link to home

Differential Induction of Symptoms in Arabidopsis by P6 of Cauliflower mosaic virus

January 2003 , Volume 16 , Number  1
Pages  35 - 42

Weichang Yu , 1 Jane Murfett , 2 and James E. Schoelz 1

1Department of Plant Microbiology and Pathology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri-65211; 2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri-65211

Go to article:
Accepted 12 September 2002.

The gene VI protein (P6) of Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) functions as a virulence factor in crucifers by eliciting chlorotic symptoms in infected plants. The ability to induce chlorosis has been associated previously with P6 through gene-swapping experiments between strains and through the development of transgenic plants that express P6. The primary role that has been identified for P6 in the CaMV infection cycle is to modify the host translation machinery to facilitate the translation of the polycistronic CaMV 35S RNA. This function for P6 has been designated as the translational transactivator (TAV) function. In the present study, we have characterized an unusual variant of P6, derived from CaMV strain D4, that does not induce chlorosis upon transformation into Arabidopsis thaliana. The level of D4 P6 produced in transgenic Arabidopsis line D4-2 was comparable to the amount found in transgenic plants homozygous for W260 and CM1841 P6, two versions of P6 that induce strong chlorotic symptoms and stunting in Arabidopsis. A complementation assay proved that P6 expressed in the D4-2 line was functional, as it could support the systemic infection of a CM1841 mutant that contained a lethal frame-shift mutation within gene VI. This complementation assay allowed us to separately assess the contribution of CM1841 gene VI to symptom development versus the contribution of other CM1841 genes. Furthermore, a previous study had shown that the TAV activity of D4 P6 was comparable to that of W260 P6. That comparative analysis of TAV function, coupled with the characterization of the D4-2 transgenic line in the present paper, indicates that the TAV function of P6 may play only a minor role in the development of chlorotic symptoms.

Additional keyword: virus symptom induction.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society