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Transgenic Resistance to Cucumber Mosaic Virus in Tomato: Blocking of Long-Distance Movement of the Virus in Lines Harboring a Defective Viral Replicase Gene

October 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  10
Pages  1,101 - 1,107

Amit Gal-On , Dalia Wolf , Yongzeng Wang , Jean-Emmanuelle Faure , Meir Pilowsky , and Aaron Zelcer

First and third authors: Department of Plant Virology; and second, fourth, fifth, and sixth authors: Department of Plant Genetics, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel

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Accepted for publication 10 July 1998.

Tomato breeding lines were transformed with a defective replicase gene from RNA 2 of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). A total of 63 transformants from five tomato genotypes were evaluated for resistance to CMV strains. The responses of R1 transgenic offspring fit into three categories: fully susceptible lines (44%), fully resistant lines (8%), and an intermediate-type mixture of susceptible and resistant seedlings in variable proportions (48%). Further characterization of the response of two highly resistant lines was performed by mechanical inoculation, aphid transmission, or grafting experiments. No virus was detected in noninoculated leaves from these lines, although a low level of virus accumulated initially in the inoculated leaf. The homozygous R2 plants and further generations that were evaluated (up to R5) showed resistance to the Fny-CMV strain, two Israeli isolates tentatively classified as subgroup IA, and K-CMV (a representative of subgroup IB). These lines were partially resistant to LS-CMV (a representative of subgroup II) when a high-virus-titer inoculum was used. Expression of the viral transgene was verified in these lines; however, the expected translation product was not detectable. In grafting experiments, we demonstrated that CMV virions were blocked in their ability to move from infected rootstocks of nontransformed tomato or tobacco into the transgenic scions. Interestingly, virions could not move through a transgenic intersection into the upper scion. These results provide an additional indication that replicase-mediated resistance affects long-distance movement.

Additional keywords: virus resistance , viral movement , graft inoculation .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society