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The Necrotic Pathotype of the Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) Ns Strain Is Solely Determined by Amino Acid 461 of the 1a Protein

August 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  8
Pages  837 - 845

Zoltán Divéki , Katalin Salánki , and Ervin Balázs

Agricultural Biotechnology Center, Environmental Biosafety Research Institute, P.O. Box 411. Gödöllö, H-2101 Hungary

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Accepted 29 April 2004.

The unique Ns isolate of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) induces necrotic lesions on several Nicotiana spp. in contrast to other strains that cause systemic mosaic on these plants. By using biologically active RNA transcripts from cDNAs of Ns-CMV and a reference subgroup I strain Rs-CMV, we confined the genetic determinant solely responsible for necrosis induction to amino acid 461 of the 1a protein translated from genomic RNA1. An Arg to Cys change at this position (R461C) rendered Rs-CMV necrotic, whereas the reciprocal C461R mutation reverted the necrotic phenotype of Ns-CMV. Necrotic (Ns-CMV, R461C) and non-necrotic (Rs-CMV and C461R) viruses accumulated to similar levels in Nicotiana clevelandii protoplasts. Deletion of the residue at position 461 abolished replicase activity of the Ns-CMV 1a protein. The R461C mutation also was introduced into the 1a protein of Trk7-CMV, a subgroup II isolate. Symptoms induced by the Trk7/R461C mutant were identical to those caused by wild-type Trk7-CMV, even when the mutant Trk7 RNA1 was co-inoculated with RNA2 and 3 of the necrotic Ns strain.

Additional keywords: hypersensitive response.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society