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A Single Complementary-Sense Transcript of a Geminiviral DNA β Satellite Is Determinant of Pathogenicity

January 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  1
Pages  7 - 14

Muhammad Saeed , 1 , 2 S. A. Akbar Behjatnia , 1 Shahid Mansoor , 2 Yusuf Zafar , 2 Shahida Hasnain , 3 and M. Ali Rezaian 1

1Horticulture Unit, CSIRO Plant Industry, P.O. Box 350, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia; 2National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), P.O. Box 577, Jhang Road, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 3Department of Botany, University of The Punjab, P.O. Box 54590, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan

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Accepted 10 August 2004.

Small circular single-stranded DNA satellites, termed DNAβ, have recently been found associated with some geminivirus infections. The DNA β associated with Cotton leaf curl virus is responsible for symptom expression of a devastating disease in Pakistan. Mutagenesis of DNA β revealed that the complementary-sense open reading frame (ORF) βC1 is required for inducing disease symptoms in Nicotiana tabacum. An ORF present on the virion-sense strand βV1 appeared to have no role in pathogenesis. Tobacco plants transformed with a βC1 ORF under the control of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter or with a dimeric DNA β exhibited severe disease-like phenotypes, while plants transformed with a mutated version of βC1 appeared normal. Northern blot analysis of RNA from the transgenic plants, using strand-specific probes, identified a single complementary-sense transcript. The transcript carries the full βC1 ORF encoding a 118-amino acid product. It maps to the DNA β at nucleotide position 186 to 563 and contains a polyadenylation signal 18 nt upstream of the stop codon. A TATA box is located 43 nt upstream of the start codon. Our results indicate that βC1 protein is responsible for DNA β-induced disease symptoms.

Additional keywords: Begomovirus , Geminiviridae , gene expression.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society