Research Geneticist, Vegetable Laboratory
Research Associate, Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Plant Sciences Institute, Beltsville, MD 20705
Faculty Research Assistant, Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, University of Maryland, College Park 20740
Research Chemist, Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Plant Sciences Institute, Beltsville, MD 20705
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Accepted for publication 19 December 1997.
Field trials of transgenic tomato plants expressing an ameliorative satellite RNA of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) were conducted to test the efficacy of satellite-transgenic technology to protect against CMV infection. Three transgenic tomato lines derived from two susceptible genotypes were evaluated over two growing seasons for viral symptoms and titers, satellite RNA expression, and fruit yield. Satellite-transgenic lines exhibited mild or no CMV symptoms and low viral titers relative to nontransformed plants. A significant negative correlation between satellite RNA levels and disease severity was evident in transgenic lines. Total marketable yield of CMV-infected satellite-transgenic lines was 40 to 84% greater than that of CMV-infected parent lines. Importantly, yield of CMV-infected satellite-transgenic lines did not differ significantly from mock-inoculated parent lines. Risk assessment results demonstrated low levels of satellite RNA transmission within the test site and no evidence of satellite RNA-induced damage on surrounding plants.
The American Phytopathological Society, 1998