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Identification of Common Epitopes on a Conserved Region of NSs Proteins Among Tospoviruses of Watermelon silver mottle virus Serogroup

December 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  12
Pages  1,296 - 1,304

Tsung-Chi Chen , Ching-Wen Huang , Yan-Wen Kuo , Fang-Lin Liu , Chao-Hsiu Hsuan Yuan , Hei-Ti Hsu , and Shyi-Dong Yeh

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh authors: Department of Plant Pathology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan; and sixth author: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705

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Accepted for publication 26 June 2006.

The NSs protein of Watermelon silver mottle virus (WSMoV) was expressed by a Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) vector in squash. The expressed NSs protein with a histidine tag and an additional NIa protease cleavage sequence was isolated by Ni2+-NTA resins as a free-form protein and further eluted after sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for production of rabbit antiserum and mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). The rabbit antiserum strongly reacted with the NSs crude antigen of WSMoV and weakly reacted with that of a high-temperature-recovered gloxinia isolate (HT-1) of Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV), but not with that of Calla lily chlorotic spot virus (CCSV). In contrast, the MAbs reacted strongly with all crude NSs antigens of WSMoV, CaCV, and CCSV. Various deletions of the NSs open reading frame were constructed and expressed by ZYMV vector. Results indicate that all three MAbs target the 89- to 125-amino-acid (aa) region of WSMoV NSs protein. Two indispensable residues of cysteine and lysine were essential for MAbs recognition. Sequence comparison of the deduced MAbs-recognized region with the reported tospoviral NSs proteins revealed the presence of a consensus sequence VRKPGVKNTGCKFTMHNQIFNPN (denoted WNSscon), at the 98- to 120-aa position of NSs proteins, sharing 86 to 100% identities among those of WSMoV, CaCV, CCSV, and Peanut bud necrosis virus. A synthetic WNSscon peptide reacted with the MAbs and verified that the epitopes are present in the 98- to 120-aa region of WSMoV NSs protein. The WSMoV sero-group-specific NSs MAbs provide a means for reliable identification of tospoviruses in this large serogroup.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society