A distinct, non-virion plant virus movement protein encoded by a crinivirus essential for systemic infection
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Plant-infecting viruses utilize various strategies involving multiple viral and host factors to achieve successful systemic infections of their compatible hosts. Lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV), genus Crinivirus, family Closteroviridae, has long, filamentous flexuous virions and causes phloem-limited infections in its plant hosts. The LIYV-encoded P26 is a distinct non-virion protein that shows no similarities to proteins in current databases: it induces plasmalemma deposits over plasmadesmata (PD) pit fields and is speculated to have roles in LIYV virion transport within infected plants. In this study, P26 was demonstrated to be a PD-localized protein, and its biological significance was tested in planta by mutagenesis analysis. An LIYV P26 knockout mutant (P26X) showed viral RNA replication and virion formation in inoculated leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana plants, but failed to give systemic infection. Confirmation by using a modified green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged LIYV P26X showed GFP accumulation only in infiltrated leaf tissues, while wild-type LIYV GFP readily spread systemically in the phloem. Attempts to rescue P26X by complementation in trans were negative. However a translocated LIYV P26 gene in the LIYV genome rescued systemic infection, but P26 orthologs from other criniviruses did not. Mutagenesis in planta assays showed that deletions in P26, as well as 2 of 11 specific alanine-scanning mutants, abolished the ability to systemically infect N. benthamiana.
Is part ofmBio, 2018, vol. 9, núm. 6, e02230-18
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