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

Assembly and movement of a plant virus carrying a green fluorescent protein overcoat.

Potato virus X (PVX) is a filamentous plant virus infecting many members of the family Solanaceae. A modified form of PVX, PVX.GFP-CP which expressed a chimeric gene encoding a fusion between the 27-kDa Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein and the amino terminus of the 25-kDa PVX coat protein, assembled into virions and moved both locally and systemically. The PVX.GFP-CP virions were over twice the diameter of wild-type PVX virions. Assembly of PVX.GFP-CP virions required the presence of free coat protein subunits in addition to the fusion protein subunits. PVX.GFP-CP virions accumulated as paracrystalline arrays in infected cells similar to those seen in cells infected with wild-type PVX The formation of virions carrying large superficial fusions illustrates a novel approach for production of high levels of foreign proteins in plants. Aggregates of PVX.GFP-CP particles were fluorescent, emitting green light when excited with ultraviolet light and could be imaged using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The detection of virus particles in infected tissue demonstrates the potential of fusions between the green fluorescent protein and virus coat protein for the non-invasive study of virus multiplication and spread.[1]


  1. Assembly and movement of a plant virus carrying a green fluorescent protein overcoat. Cruz, S.S., Chapman, S., Roberts, A.G., Roberts, I.M., Prior, D.A., Oparka, K.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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