Transgenic Tomato Plants Expressing Satellite RNA Are Tolerant to Some Strains of Cucumber Mosaic Virus

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Transgenic tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) expressing cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) satellite RNA fused to a gene for β-glucuronidase were produced using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The R1 progeny of self-crossed R0 plants were challenge-inoculated with virion or RNA preparations of CMV or tomato aspermy virus (TAV). The transgenic plants challenged with CMV-1 showed mild disease symptoms in the first 2 weeks postchallenge followed by a decrease in symptoms, resulting in little difference between the transgenic and uninfected control group by the fourth week. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results showed about a 10-fold decrease in virus accumulation in the transgenic plants compared to controls. Tolerance was evident only in plants that contained the recombinant insert and produced mature unit-length satellite RNA after CMV infection. Plants challenged with TAV showed no significant tolerance to virus-induced symptoms.

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