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Virology. 1996 Jul 1;221(1):218-25.

Mapping nucleotides in the 126-kDa protein gene that control the differential symptoms induced by two strains of tobacco mosaic virus.

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Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Plant Biology Division, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402, USA.

Erratum in

  • Virology 1996 Aug 15;222(2):474.


The differential symptom determinants of the Holmes' masked (M) and U1 strains of tobacco mosaic virus previously were mapped to the 5'-coterminal open reading frame (ORF) encoding the 126-kDa protein and the N-terminal two-thirds of the 183-kDa protein. Both proteins influence viral RNA accumulation, but the function of, and impact on, symptom formation by large domains within the 126-kDa gene, which are not conserved with sequences in analogous ORFs from other related viruses, are unknown. In the current study, cDNA clones representing each strain (i.e., MIC-TMV and U1-TMV) were mutated in these nonconserved domains to further define the nucleotides responsible for mosaic symptom induction on Nicotiana tabacum. Progeny virus of a mutant containing only eight nucleotide substitutions from the MIC-TMV sequence to the U1-TMV sequence within the 126-kDa protein ORF of MIC-TMV induced U1-TMV-like symptoms. Single or multiple substitutions among these eight nucleotides further defined residues critical for symptom modulation. Complementary substitutions in the MIC-TMV and U1-TMV sequences did not always yield progeny virus that induced complementary visual symptoms. Progeny of some mutants contained second-site spontaneous mutations at specific positions shown to influence symptom phenotype. For a subset of the stable site-directed mutants, there was no correlation between severity of systemic symptoms and chlorotic lesion size or virus accumulation in these chlorotic lesions on inoculated leaves.

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