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Multiple Coat Protein Mutations Abolish Recognition of Pepino mosaic potexvirus (PepMV) by the Potato Rx Resistance Gene in Transgenic Tomatoes

April 2010 , Volume 23 , Number  4
Pages  376 - 383

Thierry Candresse,1 Armelle Marais,1 Chantal Faure,1 Marie Pierre Dubrana,1 Julie Gombert,2 and Abdelhafid Bendahmane2

1Equipe de Virologie, UMR GD2P, IBVM, INRA and Université Victor Ségalen Bordeaux2, BP81, 33883 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France; 2INRA-URGV 2, Rue Gaston Crémieux CP 5708 91057 EVRY Cedex, France

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Accepted 12 November 2009.

Despite the fact that Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) and Potato virus X (PVX) share less than 40% identity in their coat proteins (CP), the known PVX elicitor of Rx, transgenic tomato (cv. Microtom) plants expressing a functional potato Rx resistance gene showed resistance toward PepMV. However, in a low percentage of plants, PepMV accumulation was observed and back inoculation experiments demonstrated that these plants contained resistance-breaking PepMV variants. Sequencing of the CP gene of these variants showed the accumulation of mutations in the amino acid 41 to 125 region the CP, whereas no mutations were observed in the nonevolved isolates. Agroinfiltration-mediated transient expression of the mutant CP demonstrated that they had a greatly attenuated or abolished ability to induce a hypersensitive reaction in Rx-expressing Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. The transient expression of truncated forms of the PepMV CP allowed the identification of a minimal elicitor domain (amino acids 30 to 136). These results demonstrate that the Rx-based sensing system is able to recognize the PepMV CP but, contrary to the situation with PVX, for which only two closely spaced resistance-breaking mutations are known, many mutations over a significant stretch of the PepMV CP allow escape from recognition by Rx.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society