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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-8-0066

Resistance toTospoviruses in Nicotiana benthamiana Transformed with the N Gene of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus: Correlation Between Transgene Expression and Protection In Primary Transformants. A. M. Vaira. Istituto di Fitovirologia Applicata, C.N.R., 10135 Torino, Italy. L. Semeria(2),S. Crespi(1), V. Lisa(1), A. Allavena,(2) and G. P. Accotto1(1) (1)Istituto di Fitovirologia Applicata, C.N.R., 10135 Torino, Italy (2)Istituto Sperimentale per la Floricoltura, M.R.A.A.F., 18038 Sanremo (IM). MPMI 8:66-73. Accepted 25 October 1994. Copyright 1995 The American Phytopathological Society.

Nicotiana benthamiana was transformed with the nucleo-protein (N) gene of an Italian isolate of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). Forty-five T1 primary Iransformant lines were analyzed for the expression of N protein and for resistance to TSWV and three other tospoviruses: impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV), groundnut bud necrosis virus (GBNV), and groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV). Thirteen of these lines were further characterized. Resistance to all TSWV isolates tested was found in two lines. The expression of the transgene (N mRNA) was lower in these resistant lines than in any of the susceptible lines, and the transgene N protein was either absent or present below detectable levels. These lines were susceptible to the other tospoviruses tested, but they developed symptoms milder than controls when inoculated with GRSV. Some of the lines producing high levels of N protein showed delays (of 2-3 weeks) in symptom expression with at least one of the TSWV isolates tested and symptom delay or attenuation with INSV or GRSV (or both). From our results it appears that high expression of TSWV N protein retards, in some cases, disease development by TSWV and INSV. In contrast, the lack of detectable expression of the transgenic N protein, accompanied by limited production of N transcripts, conferred TSWV-specific resistance.

Additional Keywords: Bunyaviridae, coat protein-mediated protection, gene expression, transgenic plants