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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Systemic spread of an RNA insect virus in plants expressing plant viral movement protein genes.

Flock house virus (FHV), a single-stranded RNA insect virus, has previously been reported to cross the kingdom barrier and replicate in barley protoplasts and in inoculated leaves of several plant species [Selling, B. H., Allison, R. F. & Kaesberg, P. (1990) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 87, 434-438]. There was no systemic movement of FHV in plants. We tested the ability of movement proteins (MPs) of plant viruses to provide movement functions and cause systemic spread of FHV in plants. We compared the growth of FHV in leaves of nontransgenic and transgenic plants expressing the MP of tobacco mosaic virus or red clover necrotic mosaic virus (RCNMV). Both MPs mobilized cell-to-cell and systemic movement of FHV in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The yield of FHV was more than 100-fold higher in the inoculated leaves of transgenic plants than in the inoculated leaves of nontransgenic plants. In addition, FHV accumulated in the noninoculated upper leaves of both MP-transgenic plants. RCNMV MP was more efficient in mobilizing FHV to noninoculated upper leaves. We also report here that FHV replicates in inoculated leaves of six additional plant species: alfalfa, Arabidopsis, Brassica, cucumber, maize, and rice. Our results demonstrate that plant viral MPs cause cell-to-cell and long-distance movement of an animal virus in plants and offer approaches to the study of the evolution of viruses and mechanisms governing mRNA trafficking in plants as well as to the development of promising vectors for transient expression of foreign genes in plants.[1]


  1. Systemic spread of an RNA insect virus in plants expressing plant viral movement protein genes. Dasgupta, R., Garcia, B.H., Goodman, R.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
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