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Virology. 1996 Aug 1;222(1):169-75.

In vitro transcripts from cloned cDNAs of the lettuce infectious yellows closterovirus bipartite genomic RNAs are competent for replication in Nicotiana benthamiana protoplasts.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Full-length cloned cDNAs of lettuce infectious yellows closterovirus (LIYV) RNAs 1 and 2 were constructed and fused to the bacteriophage T3 RNA polymerase promoter. To assess RNA replication, Nicotiana benthamiana protoplasts were inoculated with LIYV virion RNAs and LIYV cDNA-derived in vitro transcripts. Analysis of protoplasts inoculated with LIYV virion RNAs or capped (m7GpppG) in vitro transcripts from LIYV RNA 1 and 2 cDNAs showed accumulation of LIYV genomic and putative subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs), synthesis of LIYV coat protein, and formation of LIYV virions. Furthermore, protoplasts inoculated with only capped in vitro transcripts from LIYV RNA 1 cDNA showed accumulation of LIYV RNA 1 and its putative sgRNA, indicating that LIYV RNA 1 can replicate in the absence of LIYV RNA 2. Conversely, accumulation of LIYV RNA 2 was not detectable in protoplasts inoculated with only LIYV RNA 2 cDNA-derived capped in vitro transcripts. These data demonstrate that LIYV genomic RNAs are competent for replication in mesophyll protoplasts and that infectious in vitro transcripts can be derived from the cloned cDNAs of a closterovirus genome.

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