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

Effects of the tom1 mutation of Arabidopsis thaliana on the multiplication of tobacco mosaic virus RNA in protoplasts.

For the multiplication of RNA viruses, specific host factors are considered essential, but as of yet little is known about this aspect of virus multiplication. To identify such host factors, we previously isolated PD114, a mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, in which the accumulation of the coat protein of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in uninoculated leaves of an infected plant was reduced to low levels. The causal mutation, designated tom1, was single, nuclear, and recessive. Here, we demonstrate that the tom1 mutation affects the amplification of TMV-related RNAs in a single cell. When protoplasts were inoculated with TMV RNA by electroporation, the percentage of TMV-positive protoplasts (detected by indirect immunofluorescence staining with anti-TMV antibodies) was lower (about 1/5 to 1/10) among PD114 protoplasts than among wild-type protoplasts. In TMV-positive PD114 protoplasts, the amounts of the positive-strand RNAs (the genomic RNA and subgenomic mRNAs) and coat protein reached levels similar to, or slightly lower than, those reached in TMV-positive wild-type protoplasts, but the accumulation of the positive-strand RNAs and coat protein occurred more slowly than with the wild-type protoplasts. The parallel decrease in the amounts of the coat protein and its mRNA suggests that the coat protein is translated from its mRNA with normal efficiency. These observations support the idea that the TOM1 gene encodes a host factor necessary for the efficient amplification of TMV RNA in an infected cell. Furthermore, we show that TMV multiplication in PD114 protoplasts is severely affected by the coinoculation of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) RNA. When PD114 protoplasts were inoculated with a mixture of TMV and CMV RNAs by electroporation, the accumulation of TMV-related molecules was approximately one-fifth of that in PD114 protoplasts inoculated with TMV RNA alone. No such reduction in the accumulation of TMV-related molecules was observed when wild-type protoplasts were inoculated with a mixture of TMV and CMV RNAs or when wild-type and PD114 protoplasts were inoculated with a mixture of TMV and turnip crinkle virus RNAs. These observations are compatible with a hypothetical model in which a gene(s) that is distinct from the TOM1 gene is involved in both TMV and CMV multiplication.[1]


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