Abutilon mosaic virus DNA B component supports mechanical virus transmission, but does not counteract begomoviral phloem limitation in transgenic plants.

PMID 17462695


Different Nicotiana benthamiana lines stably transformed with Abutilon mosaic virus (AbMV) dimeric DNA B were capable of systemically spreading complete bipartite AbMV genomes, following agroinoculation of DNA A alone. Constitutively expressed viral movement protein (BC1) did not induce any persistent disease phenotype, but plants developed transient morphological abnormalities such as radially symmetric leaves after kanamycin withdrawal. Systemic AbMV infection produced symptoms and virus titers indistinguishable from those in non-transgenic plants. In systemically invaded leaves, the begomovirus remained phloem-limited, whereas the plants' susceptibility to mechanical transmission of AbMV was enhanced by a factor of three to five, as compared to non-transgenic controls. Hence, DNA B-encoded movement functions can complement local movement to the phloem after mechanical transmission, but fail to support viral invasion of non-phloem cells in systemically infected organs, indicating that the phloem restriction of AbMV does not result predominantly from a lack of transport competence in mesophyll tissues.

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