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A Necrosis-Inducing Elicitor Domain Encoded by Both Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Plantago asiatica mosaic virus Isolates, Whose Expression Is Modulated by Virus Replication

April 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  4
Pages  408 - 420

Ken Komatsu, Masayoshi Hashimoto, Kensaku Maejima, Takuya Shiraishi, Yutaro Neriya, Chihiro Miura, Nami Minato, Yukari Okano, Kyoko Sugawara, Yasuyuki Yamaji, and Shigetou Namba

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan

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Accepted 14 December 2010.

Systemic necrosis is the most destructive symptom induced by plant pathogens. We previously identified amino acid 1154, in the polymerase domain (POL) of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of Plantago asiatica mosaic virus (PlAMV), which affects PlAMV-induced systemic necrosis in Nicotiana benthamiana. By point-mutation analysis, we show that amino acid 1,154 alone is not sufficient for induction of necrotic symptoms. However, PlAMV replicons that can express only RdRp, derived from a necrosis-inducing PlAMV isolate, retain their ability to induce necrosis, and transient expression of PlAMV-encoded proteins indicated that the necrosis-eliciting activity resides in RdRp. Moreover, inducible-overexpression analysis demonstrated that the necrosis was induced in an RdRp dose-dependent manner. In addition, during PlAMV infection, necrotic symptoms are associated with high levels of RdRp accumulation. Surprisingly, necrosis-eliciting activity resides in the helicase domain (HEL), not in the amino acid 1,154-containing POL, of RdRp, and this activity was observed even in HELs of PlAMV isolates of which infection does not cause necrosis. Moreover, HEL-induced necrosis had characteristics similar to those induced by PlAMV infection. Overall, our data suggest that necrotic symptoms induced by PlAMV infection depend on the accumulation of a non–isolate specific elicitor HEL (even from nonnecrosis isolates), whose expression is indirectly regulated by amino acid 1,154 that controls replication.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society