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Plant Cell. 2004 Apr;16(4):807-18. Epub 2004 Mar 22.

Patterning of virus-infected Glycine max seed coat is associated with suppression of endogenous silencing of chalcone synthase genes.

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  • 1Gene Research Center, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, 036-8561, Japan.


Most commercial Glycine max (soybean) varieties have yellow seeds because of loss of pigmentation in the seed coat. It has been suggested that inhibition of seed coat pigmentation in yellow G. max may be controlled by homology-dependent silencing of chalcone synthase (CHS) genes. Our analysis of CHS mRNA and short-interfering RNAs provide clear evidence that the inhibition of seed coat pigmentation in yellow G. max results from posttranscriptional rather than transcriptional silencing of the CHS genes. Furthermore, we show that mottling symptoms present on the seed coat of G. max plants infected with some viruses can be caused by suppression of CHS posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) by a viral silencing suppressor protein. These results demonstrate that naturally occurring PTGS plays a key role in expression of a distinctive phenotype in plants and present a simple clear example of the elucidation of the molecular mechanism for viral symptom induction.

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