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Plant Cell. Apr 1998; 10(4): 495–510.
PMCID: PMC144013

Cell-to-cell and phloem-mediated transport of potato virus X. The role of virions

Abstract

Movement-deficient potato virus X (PVX) mutants tagged with the green fluorescent protein were used to investigate the role of the coat protein (CP) and triple gene block (TGB) proteins in virus movement. Mutants lacking either a functional CP or TGB were restricted to single epidermal cells. Microinjection of dextran probes into cells infected with the mutants showed that an increase in the plasmodesmal size exclusion limit was dependent on one or more of the TGB proteins and was independent of CP. Fluorescently labeled CP that was injected into epidermal cells was confined to the injected cells, showing that the CP lacks an intrinsic transport function. In additional experiments, transgenic plants expressing the PVX CP were used as rootstocks and grafted with nontransformed scions. Inoculation of the PVX CP mutants to the transgenic rootstocks resulted in cell-to-cell and systemic movement within the transgenic tissue. Translocation of the CP mutants into sink leaves of the nontransgenic scions was also observed, but infection was restricted to cells close to major veins. These results indicate that the PVX CP is transported through the phloem, unloads into the vascular tissue, and subsequently is transported between cells during the course of infection. Evidence is presented that PVX uses a novel strategy for cell-to-cell movement involving the transport of filamentous virions through plasmodesmata.

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Selected References

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