• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 Abstract
 Geminiviruses
 Tobacco plants transformed with...
 Characterization of the resistance...
 Conclusions
 Appendix: Laboratory protocols
 Bibliography
 Biographical sketch














Title: Evaluation and characterization of resistance to tomato mottle virus (ToMoV) conferred by a modified coat protein of ToMoV
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Title: Evaluation and characterization of resistance to tomato mottle virus (ToMoV) conferred by a modified coat protein of ToMoV
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Sinisterra D., Xiomara H
Publisher: State University System of Florida
Place of Publication: <Florida>
<Florida>
Publication Date: 1999
Copyright Date: 1999
 Subjects
Subject: Plant Pathology thesis, Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Plant Pathology -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
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 Notes
Summary: ABSTRACT: Tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') were transformed with a binary vector containing the coat protein gene of tomato mottle begomovirus (ToMoV) (Geminiviridae) modified by the deletion of 30 nucleotides in the 5' end. The R1 generation was screened for resistance against ToMoV, by inoculation with viruliferous whiteflies. Symptom development was recorded every week for 16 weeks using a five level visual scale, and ToMoV infection was confirmed by PCR and ELISA. The response to ToMoV infection was variable, wild type, enhanced wild type, immunity and recovery phenotypes were observed. Some transformed plants developed an unusual bright vein yellowing. All plants transformed with a binary vector lacking the truncated ToMoV coat protein gene were susceptible to ToMoV infection. Southern blot analysis of immune R1 plants showed the presence of multiple copies of the transgene in 80% of the plants tested. The transgene transcript was detected by northern blot analysis, but the transgene product was not detected by western blot analysis using antisera reactive with ToMoV coat protein. Selected resistant R1 transgenic plants were also screened for resistance against tobacco mosaic tobamovirus, cucumber mosaic cucumovirus, and tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus. Disease development was evaluated by visual assessment of symptoms and the presence of the viruses was determined by ELISA or dot blot hybridization. The transgenic plants evaluated did not show resistance to any of the three viruses indicating a narrow breadth of resistance.
Summary: ABSTRACT (cont.): The R2 generation of selected R1 ToMoV-resistant and susceptible plants was monitored and assessed for resistance to ToMoV. Disease development was monitored for 60 days using a five level visual scale and ToMoV infection was confirmed by PCR. Some R2 plants displayed attenuation of symptoms but recovery and immunity phenotypes were not observed. The transgene transcript was not be detected by northern blot hybridization in resistant or susceptible R2 plants. The sequence of the transgene from the R1 and R2 generations of a resistant plant were determined, and no mutations were found. The resistance appears to be a form of RNA-mediated resistance.
Summary: KEYWORDS: ToMoV, whitefly, pathogen derived resistance, geminivirus
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 87-100).
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System Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility: by Xiomara H. Sinisterra D.
General Note: Title from first page of PDF file.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains viii, 102 p.; also contains graphics.
General Note: Vita.
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Dedication
        Page iii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    Abstract
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Geminiviruses
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Tobacco plants transformed with a modified coat protein of tomato mottle begomovirus show resistance to virus infection
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Characterization of the resistance to ToMoV infection displayed by tobacco plants transformed with the truncated coat protein of ToMoV
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Conclusions
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Appendix: Laboratory protocols
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Bibliography
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Biographical sketch
        Page 101
        Page 102
Full Text














EVALUATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF RESISTANCE TO TOMATO
MOTTLE VIRUS (ToMoV) CONFERRED BY A MODIFIED COAT PROTEIN OF
ToMoV










By

XIOMARA H. SINISTERRA D.


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1999






























Copyright by

Xiomara H. Sinisterra D.

1999





























Dedication



To my parents who taught me that dreams
are to be pursued and challenges to be met.




To my daughter whose smile gives me a
reason to wake up everyday.




















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to thank Dr. Jane E. Polston for giving me adequate advice and for having

a strong commitment to my education. I would like to thank Dr. Ernest Hiebert for his

helpful suggestions and for allowing me to do part of my research in his laboratory. I

would like to thank Dr. Dan Purcifull, Dr. William Zettler, and Dr. Gloria Moore for the

valuable time that they invested serving on my graduate committee. I am grateful for the

technical advice and special kindness that I received from Kris Beckham, also I would like

to thank Christopher Patte for his technical advice and delicious cakes. I wish to thank

Patty Reif, Tracy Sherwood, and Ramona Reiser for helping me to keep my sanity, and

finally I would like to thank COLCIENCIAS for awarding me a scholarship-loan during

part of my doctoral program.


















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ....................................................................................................iv
ABSTRACT ............................................................................. vii

CHAPTERS

1 R E V IEW O F L ITER A TU R E ....................................................................... ...............1...

T a x o n o m y ............... ....... ......................................................................................... 1
G em inivirus G enom e O organization .................................................... ...............2...
G em inivirus C oat Protein G ene .......................................................... ...............6...
G em inivirus R eplication ......................................... ........................ ...............9...
G em inivirus M ovem ent ................ ........................................................... 12
Whitefly-Transmission of Geminiviruses ......................................................... 13
Economic Impact of Whitefly-Transmitted Geminiviruses............................... 15
Tomato Mottle Begomovirus ........................................................ 17
Pathogen-derived R resistance ..................................... ..................... ............... 18
Engineered Resistance to Geminiviruses ..........................................................26
R elevance of the Present Study.......................................................... ................ 28

2 TOBACCO PLANTS TRANSFORMED WITH A MODIFIED COAT PROTEIN
OF TOMATO MOTTLE BEGOMOVIRUS SHOW
RESISTANCE TO VIRUS INFECTION...........................................................30

In tro d u ctio n ............................................................................................................ 3 0
M materials and M ethods ....................................................................... .................. 3 1
R e su lts ................................................................................................................ . .. 3 7
D iscu ssio n .............................................................................................................. 4 6















3 CHARACTERIZATION OF THE RESISTANCE TO ToMoV INFECTION
DISPLAYED BY TOBACCO PLANTS TRANSFORMED WITH THE
TRUNCATED COAT PROTEIN OF ToMoV..................................................47

In tro d u ctio n .......................................................................................................... 4 7
M materials and M ethods ...................................................................... ................ 48
R e su lts ................................................................................................................. ... 5 4
D iscu ssio n .............................................................................................................. 6 1

4 C O N C L U S IO N S .............................................................................................................6 7

A P P E N D IX ........................................................................................................ ........ .. 7 1

B IB L IO G R A P H Y ...................................................... ................................................ 87

BIOGRAPHICAL
S K E T C H ........................................................................................................... ......... . 10 1
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

EVALUATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF RESISTANCE TO TOMATO
MOTTLE VIRUS (ToMoV) CONFERRED BY A MODIFIED COAT PROTEIN OF
ToMoV

by

Xiomara H. Sinisterra D.

August 1999


Chairman: Jane E. Polston
Major Department: Plant Pathology


Tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum Xanthi ') were transformed with a binary

vector containing the coat protein gene of tomato mottle begomovirus (ToMoV)

(Geminiviridae) modified by the deletion of 30nucleotides in the 5' end. The R,

generation was screened for resistance against ToMoV, by inoculation with viruliferous

whiteflies. Symptom development was recorded every week for 16 weeks using a five

level visual scale, and ToMoV infection was confirmed by PCR and ELISA. The

response to ToMoV infection was variable, wild type, enhanced wild type, immunity and

recovery phenotypes were observed. Some transformed plants developed an unusual









bright vein yellowing. All plants transformed with a binary vector lacking the truncated

ToMoV coat protein gene were susceptible to ToMoV infection.

Southern blot analysis of immune R, plants showed the presence of multiple

copies of the transgene in 80% of the plants tested. The transgene transcript was detected

by northern blot analysis, but the transgene product was not detected by western blot

analysis using antisera reactive with ToMoV coat protein.

Selected resistant R, transgenic plants were also screened for resistance against

tobacco mosaic tobamovirus, cucumber mosaic cucumovirus, and tomato yellow leaf curl

begomovirus. Disease development was evaluated by visual assessment of symptoms and

the presence of the viruses was determined by ELISA or dot blot hybridization. The

transgenic plants evaluated did not show resistance to any of the three viruses indicating a

narrow breadth of resistance.

The R2 generation of selected R, ToMoV-resistant and susceptible plants was

monitored and assessed for resistance to ToMoV. Disease development was monitored

for 60 days using a five level visual scale and ToMoV infection was confirmed by PCR.

Some R2 plants displayed attenuation of symptoms but recovery and immunity

phenotypes were not observed. The transgene transcript was not be detected by northern

blot hybridization in resistant or susceptible R2 plants. The sequence of the transgene

from the R, and R2 generations of a resistant plant were determined, and no mutations

were found. The resistance appears to be a form of RNA-mediated resistance.
















CHAPTER 1
GEMINIVIRUSES


General Characteristics

Taxonomy

Geminiviruses are plant viruses first described by Goodman in 1977 (Goodman,

1977a, 1977b). They are characterized by a fused icosahedral "twinned" viral particle.

The virion consist of two joined quasi-isometric subunits, with a characteristic waist

constriction and pointed ends (Murphy et al., 1995). Geminate virions enclose a circular

single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) genome. Geminiviruses belong to the family

Geminiviridae. This family is comprised of three genera, all of which share similarities in

genome organization, insect transmission, and host range. The genus Mastrevirus

(formerly subgroup I) consists of geminiviruses with a monopartite genome.

Mastreviruses are transmitted by leafhoppers, in most cases by a single species in a

persistent, circulative, non-propagative manner. Most mastreviruses have very restricted

host ranges and infect members of the family Gramineae. Two exceptions include bean

yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV) and tobacco yellow dwarf virus (TYDV), which infect

certain species in the Solanaceae and Fabaceae families. Maize streak virus (MSV) is the

type species. The genus Curtovirus (formerly subgroup II) includes viruses with

monopartite genomes, transmitted by leafhoppers or treehoppers in a persistent,









2

circulative, non-propagative manner. Curtoviruses have very wide host ranges; they infect

over 300 dicotyledonous species in 44 families. Beet curly top virus (BCTV) is the type

species. The genus Begomovirus (formerly subgroup HI) includes viruses with

monopartite and bipartite genomes. Begomoviruses are transmitted by whiteflies in a

persistent, circulative, non-propagative manner, and infect dicotyledonous plants. Bean

golden mosaic virus (BGMV) is the type species.

Geminivirus Genome Organization

The geminivirus genome is organized in one (monopartite) or two bipartitee)

covalently closed, circular, ssDNA molecules of about 2.5 2.9 Kb (Lazarowitz, 1992).

The genes in monopartite and bipartite geminiviruses are arranged in two divergent

clusters 280 to 350 nucleotides each separated by the intergenic region (IR)each. The

single genomic component of monopartite geminiviruses (mastreviruses and

curtoviruses) contains all the information necessary for virus replication and infectivity

(Lazarowitz, 1992; Hanley-Bowdoin et al., 1996). Bipartite begomoviruses have seven

genes distributed in the two genomic components designated A and B. The A component

contains genes involved in virus replication and encapsidation, and the B component

contains the genes involved in virus movement (Lazarowitz, 1992). The A and B

components each have a common region, which consists of a block of approximately 200

bp within the IR (Sunter and Bisaro, 1991; Haley et al., 1992; Lazarowitz, 1992). The

common regions are virtually identical in sequence in a given bipartite begomovirus, but

are completely different in sequence among the other geminiviruses, with the exception

of a 30 nucleotide conserved region (stem loop) that has been identified as the origin of











replication (Sunter and Bisaro, 1991). The common region also contains two divergent

promoters which differentially regulate the temporal expression of the viral genes

(Lazarowitz, 1992).

Mastreviruses

The genome of monopartite geminiviruses of the genus Mastrevirus is 2.6 2.8

Kb in size. The Mastrevirus genome has two genes in the virus sense, VI and V2, and two

genes in the complementary sense, Cl and C2 (Wright et al., 1997) (Fig. 1 1). VI

encodes a protein that has been found associated with plasmodesmata, and is involved in

the systemic movement of the virus (Dickinson et al., 1996). V2 encodes the coat protein

which is essential for long distance movement, virus transmission, and also regulates

dsDNA to ssDNA conversion (Boulton et al., 1989). CI and C2 products are necessary

for viral replication (Lazarowitz et al., 1992). A small complementary sense, primer-like

oligonucleotide annealed to the genomic DNA within the intergenic region has been

found in five species, i.e. chloris striate mosaic virus, digitaria streak virus, tobacco

yellow dwarf virus, wheat dwarf virus (WDV), and MSV (Dry et al., 1997).

Grass geminiviruses originating from different continents are either unrelated or

distantly related. Serological comparisons indicated that grass-infecting geminiviruses

from the same continent constitute distinct groupings. There is an African streak virus

group, an Australasian striate mosaic group, a very distinct Asian miscanthus streak virus

and the European wheat dwarf virus (Pinner et al., 1992).
















ICR



AC I1
MYV

AVI
A i2







AC I BCVAY2


AC 2


EKA TQMY-B
KY'


Figure 1-1. Geminivirus genome organization
Typical genomic organization of the three geminivirus genera. Genes are denoted as
either being encoded on the virion (V) or complementary strand (C) and the protein
products are indicated: CP = coat protein; Rep = replication associated-protein; MP =
movement protein; Trap = transcriptional activator protein; Ren = replication enhancer
protein. ICR= intergenic common region. The letters A and B denote the A and B
components of bipartite begomovirus. MSV = maize streak mastrevirus genome. BCTV
= beet curly top curtovirus genome. TGMV = tomato golden mosaic begomovirus
genome.


MSV
Mastrevirus


BCTV
Curtovirus


TGMV
Begomovirus


ICRA











Curtoviruses

The genome of viruses in the genus Curtovirus consists of a single circular

ssDNA component 2.9 3.0 Kb in size (Stanley et al., 1992). The genome has three genes

in the virus sense designated VI, V2, and V3, and four genes in the complementary sense,

designated C1, C2, C3, and C4 (Fig. 1 1). VI encodes the coat protein, the V3 product is

involved in long distance movement, and the V2 product regulates the levels of dsDNA

and ssDNA during replication (Stanley et al., 1992). Whereas Cl encodes the replicase

protein, and C3 plays some role in virus replication, the function of C2 is unclear

(Briddon et al., 1990). C4 is a determinant of symptom development and is associated

with induction of cell division in the host (Lathman et al., 1997).

Serological tests indicated that three species in the genus are closely related, i. e.

tomato pseudo-curly top virus, tomato leafroll virus, and BCTV (Klute et al., 1996).

Distant serological relationships between curtoviruses and begomoviruses have been

established (Klute et al., 1996).

Begomoviruses

With the exception of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), which consists of

only one component (Lazarowitz, 1992), the genomes of begomoviruses are made up of

two components, each 2.5 2.8 Kb in size. The A component of begomoviruses typically

has one gene in the virion sense and four genes in the complementary sense (Lazarowitz,

1992) (Fig. 1 1). AV1 (virion sense) encodes the coat protein, AC1 (complementary

sense) encodes the replication-associated protein (Rep) (Elmer et al., 1988), and AC2

encodes the transcriptional activator protein (TrAP) that transactivates the expression of











the coat protein gene and the BV1 movement gene of the B component (Sunter and

Bisaro, 1991). AC3 encodes the replication enhancer protein (Ren) that regulates the virus

replication rate, possibly via the activation of an early gene (A V1) required for DNA

synthesis (Azzam et al., 1994). AC4 encodes a protein which is a determinant of symptom

expression in monopartite begomoviruses (Rigden et al., 1994). The B component has

two genes, designated BC1 and BV1. The product of BV1 is localized in the cell nucleus

and binds ssDNA, allowing the newly formed virus genome to be transported to the

cytoplasm (Pascal et. al 1993; Pascal et. al 1994). The BC1 product has been extracted

from cell wall and cellular membrane fractions, and its function is to increase the

exclusion limit of plasmodesmata to facilitate cell to cell movement of the virus (Pascal

et al., 1993). Both movement proteins define the viral host range but only BC1 determines

symptom severity and pathogenicity in bipartite begomovirus (Ingham et al., 1995; Duan

et al., 1997b)

Serological tests showed that all begomoviruses are related. In addition, there is a

group of epitopes unique to the begomoviruses which infect crops in the Old World

(Europe, Africa, and Australasia), and a distinct set of epitopes is shared by

begomoviruses that infect crops in the New World (North, Central and South America)

(Thomas et al., 1986).

Geminivirus Coat Protein Gene

All geminiviruses encode a single type of coat protein subunit with an essential

role in 1) protection of the genome from degradation, 2) virus acquisition and











transmission by insect vectors, 3) infectivity, 4) systemic movement (Lazarowitz, 1992),

and 5) ssDNA accumulation (Qin et al., 1998).

There is compelling evidence for considering the role of the coat protein to be a

determinant of the specificity of virus transmission by insects in both mono- and bipartite

geminiviruses. Experiments conducted by Briddon et al., (1990) showed that African

cassava mosaic virus (ACMV), which is whitefly-transmitted, could be transmitted to

Nicotiana benthamiana by the leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus, when its coat protein gene

was replaced with the coat protein gene of BCTV, another leafhopper-transmitted virus.

In other experiments, coat protein deletion mutants of BGMV were able to replicate in

bean plants but could not be transmitted by whiteflies (Azzam et al., 1994). Furthermore,

leafhopper vectors failed to transmit naked ssDNA of the leafhopper-transmitted maize

streak virus (Mullineaux et al., 1984).

The coat protein gene appears to be associated with the development of symptoms

in some virus-host systems. Coat protein mutants of tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV)

induced delay and attenuation of symptoms in tobacco, when compared with the

symptoms caused by the wild type virus (Gardiner et al., 1988). The development of

symptoms was positively correlated with the extent of the mutation. Mutants with small

truncations in the coding region of the coat protein gene expressed coat proteins of a size

similar to the wild type gene and induced symptoms similar to those induced by the wild

type virus. Mutants with more extensive truncations in the coding region of the coat

protein gene induced milder symptoms (Gardiner et al., 1988).











On the other hand, truncations in the coding region of the coat protein of ACMV did not

result in changes in the development of symptoms in Nicotiana benthamiana (Ward et

al., 1988).

The coat protein is necessary for translocation and cell to cell movement of

monopartite geminiviruses (Boulton et al., 1989). Coat protein mutants of MSV and

WDV replicated in the host cells that they initially infected but failed to spread

systemically (Boulton et al., 1989; Lazarowitz, 1992). In the case of bipartite

geminiviruses, it has been proposed that the coat protein is dispensable for the systemic

movement in hosts in which a given geminivirus is well adapted. Experiments conducted

by Pooma et al. (1996), showed that mutants of TGMV lacking the coat protein infected

Nicotiana benthamiana systemically, but were confined to the inoculated leaves of

Nicotiana tabacum and Datura stramonium. TGMV is well adapted to N. benthamiana

but poorly adapted to N. tabacum and D. stramonium. Also, Wang et al. (1998) showed

that the wild-type bean dwarf mosaic virus was able to systemically infect soybean, but

when the coat protein gene was replaced by a modified green fluorescent protein gene, the

infection remained localized. BDMV is not well adapted to soybean.

The coat protein gene may play a role in ssDNA accumulation. When coat protein

mutants of BGMV were inoculated to Phaseolus vulgaris, whitefly-transmissibility of the

virus was lost, and the accumulation of DNA-A and DNA-B was reduced 10- to 50-fold

compared with the wild type virus (Azzam et al., 1994). Additionally, genetic studies

involving mutants of squash leaf curl virus (SqLCV) with changes in the amino acid s











sequence, but without changes in the size of the protein, showed that the coat protein

induces the accumulation of replicated ssDNA genomes (Ingham et al., 1998).

Geminivirus Replication

Geminivirus replication strategy

The ssDNA genomes of geminiviruses replicate in the nucleus of infected cells

via a rolling circle mechanism using a dsDNA intermediate (Saunders et al., 1991;

Stenger et al., 1991). In bipartite geminiviruses the A component replicates

autonomously, whereas the B component depends upon the presence of the A component

for replication (Lazarowitz, 1992). The replication process is analogous to that used by

ssDNA phages, such as $X174 (Kornberg and Baker, 1992) and ssDNA plasmids such

as pT181 and pC194 (Gros et al., 1987). Moreover, sequence comparisons have shown

that the geminiviral replication-associated proteins are DNA binding proteins and are

related to proteins involved in the initiation of replication of some ssDNA plasmids

(pMV158 family) (Koonin and Ilyina, 1992).

The origin of replication of bipartite geminiviruses has been mapped to a 90

nucleotide region in the intergenic region (Lazarowitz, 1992). The origin of replication

includes a conserved 30 nucleotide putative stem-loop element that is present in all

geminiviruses (Revington et al., 1989). A 5'- TAATATTAC- 3' motif, present in the

stem-loop element, is analogous to the A protein replication cleavage sequence in phage

(JX140 (Saunders et al., 1991; Stenger et al., 1991; Arguello-Astorga et al., 1994). The

specific binding site for the replication associated-protein in TGMV and SqLCV has











been mapped to a region of about 60 nucleotides upstream of the stem-loop element

(Fontes et al., 1994; Lazarowitz et al., 1992).

The Rep protein is a multifunctional protein that binds double-stranded DNA,

catalyzes cleavage and ligation of single-stranded DNA and forms oligomers (Orozco

and Hanley-Bowdoin, 1998). Rep protein initiates the replication cycle by making a

single stranded-cleavage of the virion sense strand at the TAATATTAC sequence in the

origin of replication. After the DNA cleavage and strand transfer reaction at the origin of

replication, the Rep protein become covalently linked to the 5' end of the cleaved DNA

(Laufs et al 1995). Luafs et al. (1995) demonstrated that in TYLCV tyrosine-103, located

in the stem loop motif initiates DNA cleavage and is the physical link between Rep

protein and its origin DNA. Orozco and Hanley-Bowdoin (1998) showed that the DNA

binding motif in the Rep protein of TGMV is located between amino acids 1 and 130.

The recognition of the origin of replication by the TGMV Rep protein depends on a

domain located between amino acids 121 and 200. The transcriptional specificity is

conferred primarily by amino acids 1 to 193 (Gladfelter et al., 1997). The synthesis of

ssDNA is regulated by the synergistic activity of TrAp and Ren proteins that act as

activator of transcription and enhancer of replication, respectively (Sunter and Bisaro,

1991).

It has been proposed that geminiviruses depend on cellular factors to complete

their replicative cycles (Xie et al., 1999). A family of proteins termed GRAB ( for

geminivius Rep-A binding) has been shown to bind to the Rep A protein of wheat dwarf

geminivirus. Two members of the family, GRAB 1 and GRAB 2, have been











characterized (Xie et al., 1999). The N-terminal domain of GRAB proteins exhibit a

significant amino acid homology to the NAC domain present in proteins involved in plant

development and senescence.

Cytological effects of geminivirus replication

The replication of geminiviruses induces micro-structural changes in the nucleus

of the host cells. Ultrastructural studies of Jatropha gossypifolia, infected with the

whitefly-transmitted begomovirus, jatropha mosaic virus, showed fibrillar bodies and

virus-like particles in the nuclei of phloem-associated parenchyma cells and sieve

elements (Kim et al., 1986). The fibrillar bodies consists of two structural components

with different electron densities: the highly electron-dense beads and the less electron-

dense matrix (Kim et al., 1986). Light microcopy studies of leaf tissue of plants infected

with BGMV and of lima bean golden mosaic, euphorbia mosaic, malvaceous chlorosis,

and rhyncosia mosaic begomoviruses revealed nuclear inclusions that appear as large

blue- violet bodies when the tissue is stained with azure A (Christie et al., 1986) These

inclusions consist of aggregated virus particles. Small, ring-shaped blue-violet, inclusions

were also observed in the nuclei of the phloem parenchyma cells. The nuclear inclusions

were not observed in stained tissues of non-infected host plants (Christie et al., 1986).

Pinner et al. (1990) observed four types of cytoplasmic inclusions induced by maize

streak virus and serologically related isolates: crystalline, non-crystalline, sheet-like and

open lattice. These distinctions enable certain geminiviruses to be identified at the strain

level.











Geminivirus Movement

The establishment of a virus infection depends upon the spread of the virus

through the plant host. The movement of the virus in the plant occurs at two different

levels: a) short distance cell- to -cell movement and b) long-distance movement that

involves delivery of the virus to distal parts of the plant by the vascular system

(Lazarowitz, 1992). The BV1 and BC1 genes encode movement proteins in bipartite

geminiviruses. Studies of SqLCV (Pascal et al., 1994) and bean dwarf mosaic virus

(Noueiry et al., 1994) have shown that the BV1 and BR1 products act in a cooperative

manner to move the viral genome from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and across the wall

cell to a contiguous cell. It has been proposed that BV1 is a nuclear shuttle protein. BV1

binds newly replicated ssDNA viral genomes and transports them to the cytoplasm

(Pascal et al., 1994: Sanderfoot et al., 1996). Then, the BVl-genome complexes are

directed to the cell periphery through interactions with the BC1 product (Sanderfoot et al.,

1996; Sanderfoot and Lazarowitz, 1995). It has been suggested that the BC1 protein

allows the movement of BVl-genome complexes from one cell to the next by increasing

the exclusion limit of plasmodesmata (Sanderfoot et al., 1996). The synthesis of BV1 is

regulated at the transcriptional level by AC2 transactivation (Sunter and Bisaro, 1991).

In general, the viral coat protein has not been considered essential for the

systemic movement of bipartite geminiviruses. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that

coat protein assists the function of BV1 by affecting the accumulation of viral ssDNA

(Qin et al., 1998).









13

In mastreviruses and curtoviruses, the coat protein and V2 genes are responsible

for the systemic movement of the virus (Lazarowitz, 1992). Geminiviruses are primarily

restricted to the phloem, but mastreviruses that infect grasses can be found in almost

every cell type (Hull,1991).

Whitefly-Transmission of Geminiviruses

Bemisia tabaci B biotype

Begomoviruses are transmitted by the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci

(Gennadius). B. tabaci was first described in the genus Aleyrodes in 1889 (Gennadius,

1889), and was first reported as a pest in 1919 in India (Husain and Trehan, 1933). Since

then, B. tabaci has been recognized as a pest of crops in tropical and subtropical

countries. B. tabaci has a very wide host range, consisting of 500 species in 74 plant

families (Greathead, 1986). The whitefly is a vector of viruses in the Geminiviridae,

Potyviridae and Comoviridae families and the genera Carlavirus and Closterovirus.

Approximately 60 different geminiviruses have been reported to be transmitted by B.

tabaci (Markham et al., 1994).

In the New World before 1986, B. tabaci was considered a pest of a limited

number of crops (tobacco, cotton, potato, bean, soybean), but by 1986 a sudden increase

of the whitefly population in ornamentals in Florida was observed (Osborne, 1988).

Shortly after that, whiteflies were reported in other crops in Florida (Schuster et al.,

1991), in California (Perring et al., 1991), and in Texas, Arizona, Central America and

South America (Brown, 1994). In Florida the whitefly infestation was associated with

silverleaf of squash and irregular ripening of tomato (Maynard and Cantliffe, 1989). The











whitefly population causing these disorders was physiologically, behaviorally,

reproductively and genetically different from the population that was present before 1989

in California and Arizona, and was first called the "poinsettia strain". Later, this whitefly

became known as the B strain or B biotype. Perring et al. (1991) suggested that A and B

strains were separate species, and thus, named the B strain (or B biotype) the silverleaff

whitefly, B. argentifolii (Bellows et al., 1994). The B biotype has a very wide host range,

which has contributed to the spread of geminiviruses to new hosts (Bedford et al., 1993)

and the outbreak of apparently new geminiviruses (Polston and Anderson, 1997).

Characteristics of whitefly transmission

Whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses affect a wide variety of vegetable crops

worldwide. In the 1930s, the first transmission of geminiviruses by whiteflies was

demonstrated with tobacco leaf curl virus and African cassava mosaic virus in tobacco

and cassava, respectively (Storey, 1934; Storey, 1936; Storey and Nichols, 1938).

Geminivirus transmission by B. tabaci is circulative and non-propagative (Duffus,

1987). Whiteflies can acquire and inoculate bipartite begomoviruses in short periods of

time (10 min), but the efficiency of acquisition increases when the feeding period

increases up to 24 h. Latent periods of four to 21 h between virus acquisition and the

ability of the whitefly to transmit have been observed (Duffus, 1995) Studies of the

transmission of TYLCV, a monopartite begomovirus, showed that whitefly feeding

periods of 4 h or longer were necessary to achieve TYLCV transmission rates near to

90% (Zeidan and Czeszcnek, 1991).











Hunter et al. (1998) established the location of tomato mottle begomovirus

(ToMoV) and cabbage leaf curl begomovirus (CaLCV) in various tissues of B. tabaci B-

biotype by immunofluorescent labeling of viral coat protein in freshly dissected

whiteflies. Hunter et al. (1998) proposed the following model for the movement of

begomoviruses in the whitefly vector: virus particles are ingested along with plant fluids

into the whitefly esophagus and foregut, after which nutrients and begomoviruses are

concentrated in the filter chamber. Begomovirus particles adsorb to specific sites on the

alimentary membrane or to sites along the anterior region of the midgut. Begomovirus

particles move out of these tissues into the hemolymph, eventually invading the salivary

glands.

Economic Impact of Whitefly-Transmitted Geminiviruses

As early as the 1950s, there were reports of a correlation between the presence of

B. tabaci and plant diseases characterized by foliar malformation, leaf curling, stunting

and yellow mosaic in a variety of crops and weeds in the Americas and the Caribbean

basin (Brown and Bird, 1992). Many of those diseases were later determined to be caused

by geminiviruses (Brown and Bird, 1992). Until the early 1990s, whitefly-transmitted

geminiviruses were primarily a problem in legume production in the Western

Hemisphere. Since then, high incidences of geminivirus diseases in tomato-producing

areas of Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and Brazil have

been reported (Polston and Anderson, 1997). Currently, at least 17 geminiviruses have

been reported infecting tomato in the Americas and Caribbean region i. e. chino del

tomato virus, tomato leaf crumple virus, pepper huasteco virus, potato yellow mosaic









16

virus, Sinaloa tomato leaf curl virus, Texas pepper virus, pepper jalapeno virus, TYLCV,

ToMoV, serrano golden mosaic virus, tomato geminivirus BZ-Ub, tomato geminivirus

BZ-Ig, TGMV, tomato yellow mosaic virus, tomato yellow streak virus, Tom GV1 virus,

and Tom GV2 virus, with incidences ranging from 20 to 100% and causing crop losses up

to 100% (Polston and Anderson, 1997).

Tomato geminiviruses have been reported to cause important losses in the tomato

producing areas of the Caribbean basin and Florida (Polston and Anderson, 1997). The

crop damage due to geminiviruses in the Dominican Republic between 1988 and 1995

ranged from 5 to 95%, and the economic losses from 1989 to 1995 were estimated at $50

million (Alvarez and Abud-Antun, 1995). Tomato geminiviruses caused losses estimated

at $ 4.6 million in the Comayagua Valley of Honduras in 1992 (Caballero and Rueda,

1993). In Venezuela, the area of tomato production was reduced by 50% due to losses

caused by tomato yellow mosaic virus (Salas and Mendoza, 1995). In central America

geminiviruses are thought to be responsible for a significant portion of the crop losses

estimated at $40 million from 1989 to 1995 (Bird et al., 1995). The yields of the tomato

crop in Florida have been adversely affected by whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses. In

1990 to 1991, crop losses due to ToMoV were estimated at $140 million. (Schuster,

1992).In Florida and the Caribbean basin diseases caused by whitefly-transmitted

geminivirus diseases are also serious concerns for many different crops such as beans,

cassava, tobacco, potato, cotton, pepper, squash, and cabbage (Polston and Anderson,

1997).











Tomato Mottle Begomovirus

Tomato mottle begomovirus (ToMoV) is a typical begomovirus of the New

World. ToMoV is bipartite, and is transmitted in a persistent, circulative manner by adult

sweetpotato whiteflies (B. tabaci, biotype B). Comparison of nucleotide sequences of the

common region and the open reading frames of the ToMoV genome with similar regions

in the genomes of other whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses indicate that ToMoV is a

distinct geminivirus of the Western Hemisphere. ToMoV and abutilon mosaic virus are

very similar at the nucleotide sequence level (Abouzid et al., 1992). ToMoV causes

stunting, leaf deformation, and mottling in tomato plants. Under field conditions ToMoV

produces symptoms such as chlorotic mottling, upward curling of leaflets, and a reduction

of fruit number and fruit size (McGovern et al., 1995). The host range of ToMoV is

limited and includes a total of four genera in the families Solanaceae (Lycopersicon,

Nicotiana, Physalis, and Solanum) and Fabaceae (Phaseolus) (Polston et al., 1993).

ToMoV was first found in Florida in 1989 (Kring et al., 1991), and since then, has been

found in all tomato production areas in Florida, with incidences as high as 95%. For the

1990-1991 tomato season, losses due to ToMoV were estimated at $125 million in the

South Florida production area (Polston et al., 1993).

Since ToMoV is transmitted by adult whiteflies, the control of vector populations

by judicious sprays of an array of foliar insecticide and the systemic insecticide

imidacloprid, and the use of reflective mulches are major components of disease

management programs. The use of virus-free transplants, and the isolation of the

transplant houses from fruit production sites in combination with vector control











measurements result in a reduction of disease incidence (McGovern et al., 1995).

However, these strategies are insufficient in situations of high whitefly populations. Since

there are no ToMoV-resistant tomato cultivars available, it is imperative to find other

novel sources of resistance to ToMoV infection.

Pathogen-derived Resistance

The development of transformation techniques in the 1980s opened new

possibilities for the generation and evaluation of sources of resistance outside of

traditional breeding methodologies. In 1985, Sanford and Johnson proposed pathogen-

derived resistance as a strategy in which entire genes or sequences derived from the

pathogen genome (both structural and functional genes) are used to transform host plants,

so that protection against the particular pathogen and/or range of pathogens is achieved.

This proposal was based on their observations that the host of the bacteriophage QP

developed resistance to infection when phage proteins were expressed in the host cell. Q3

coat protein, a modified replicase and a replicase binding site, all generated resistance in

the transformed host (Sanford and Johnson, 1985).

In 1986, Powell-Abel et al. demonstrated that tobacco plants transformed with the

coat protein of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) showed resistance to TMV infection. Shortly

thereafter, it was shown that the expression of the coat protein genes of alfalfa mosaic,

tobacco streak, and tobacco rattle viruses in tobacco conferred resistance to infection by

those viruses (Powell-Abel et al., 1986). Since then, the coat protein gene has been used

extensively to engineer resistance to viruses in the families Potyviridae and

Bromoviridae, and in the genera Potexvirus, Tobamovirus, Tobravirus, Carlavirus, and











Luteovirus (Beachy et al., 1990). Non-structural genes (replicase and movement protein

genes) have also been used successfully to engineer resistance, primarily against

RNA viruses (Beachy 1994; Lomonossoff 1995). There are fewer reports of engineered

resistance to DNA viruses, including the geminiviruses.

Coat Protein Mediated-Resistance

Classical cross protection studies suggested that the expression of the viral coat

protein in the host would ultimately interfere with the uncoating of the virus in such a

way that the virus genome would be less available for initiation of virus replication

(Hamilton, 1980). Data supporting this assumption was obtained in protoplasts of tobacco

transformed with TMV coat protein (Osbourn et al., 1989). Initially, coat protein-

mediated-resistance was thought to be effective not only against the virus from which the

coat protein sequence is derived but also against distantly related viruses. Furthermore, it

was suggested that the resistance would be characterized by a positive correlation

between the level of protein expression and resistance. Resistant plants would exhibit

high levels of expression of the transgene protein (Beachy, 1994).

There are many examples of resistance responses associated with transformation

with coat protein genes. These responses can be grouped into two categories depending

upon the characteristics of the construct (Stam et al., 1997). With translatable coat protein

transgenes, resistance is often expressed as a reduction in symptom severity, a reduction

of the rate of systemic disease, and a reduction of virus accumulation (Beachy, 1994;

Loesch-Fries et al., 1987; van Dun et al., 1988; Powell-Abel et al., 1986). In some cases,

the resistance is positively correlated with the level of expression of the coat protein









20

transgene (Beachy, 1994). However, there are examples where a correlation between the

amount of coat protein produced and virus resistance could not be established (Quemada

et al., 1991). Tobacco plants transformed with the coat protein gene of cucumber mosaic

virus (CMV) were susceptible to CMV infection and expressed the transgene protein

product at high levels. A similar situation occurred when resistance to potato mop-top

virus (PMTV), in tobacco transformed with PMTV coat protein, was not correlated with

the level of expression of the transgene (Baker et al., 1998).

For non-translatable coat protein genes, the resistance can be characterized as

immunity to infection, even in the presence of high doses of inoculum (Lindbo and

Dougherty, 1992; Smith et al., 1994). There are some examples in which the most

resistant lines transformed with either translatable or non-translatable coat protein genes,

are those in which there is a low steady-state level of transgene RNA transcript or protein

(van der Vlugt et al., 1992; Dougherty et al., 1994; Smith et al., 1994; Mueller et al.,

1995).

RNA-mediated Resistance

Resistance characterized by low steady-state levels of the transgene transcript

rather than with the expression of the transgene product has been referred as to RNA-

mediated resistance (Lindbo and Dougherty, 1992). Although not recognized as such, the

characteristics of RNA- mediated resistance were first found in plants transformed with

the 54 Kd replicase gene of tobacco mosaic virus (Golemboski et. at. 1990). These plants

showed a high level of resistance. The breadth of the resistance was narrow, including

only closely related viruses, and the 54Kd protein could not be detected. In the early









21

1990s, studies of engineered resistance to tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), and potato

virus Y (PVY) showed a lack of correlation between transgene protein expression and

resistance. In some cases, the protein product could not be detected (Gielen et al., 1991;

Kawchuk et al., 1991; Lawson et al., 1990).

By 1992, it was demonstrated that not only translatable constructs, but also

untranslatable constructs, were able to confer resistance to virus infection (de Haan et al.,

1992; Lindbo and Dougherty, 1992; van der Vlugt et al.,, 1992). Experiments with plants

transformed with untranslatable constructs of TSWV (de Haan et al., 1992), tobacco etch

virus (TEV) (Lindbo and Dougherty 1992), and PVY (van der Vlugt et al., 1992) showed

that some transgenic lines displayed an extremely resistant phenotype, which was

independent of inoculum dose. Other plants displayed a "recovery phenotype". This

phenotype refers to an initial establishment of a systemic infection, followed by the

display of fewer symptoms in each new leaf until virus-free leaves emerged. These

asymptomatic leaves are virus-free and completely resistant to superinfection (de Haan et

al., 1992; Lindbo and Dougherty 1992; van der Vlugt et al., 1992). The cytoplasmic levels

of the transgene transcript were established in asymptomic leaves of transformed plants

showing the recovery phenotype and in leaves of non-inoculated transformed plants. A

five-to-eight-fold drop in the cytoplasmic transgene transcript level was observed in the

recovered leaves as compared to that of the non-inoculated leaves (Lindbo and Dougherty

1992). Nuclear run-on experiments were used to differentiate nuclear transcription of the

transgene from the cytoplasmic transgene transcript steady-state level. There were no

significant differences in the nuclear rate of transcription of the transgene between











recovered and non-inoculated leaves (Lindbo and Dougherty 1992); therefore, it was

concluded that the observed decrease in the cytoplasmic transgene transcript steady-state

level was induced by post-transcriptional cytoplasmic activity (Lindbo and Dougherty

1992). Since the transgene sequence was extensively methylated, it was suggested that

methylation may have played a role in the induction of the specific cytoplasmic RNA

degradation ( Lindbo and Dougherty 1992).

The induction of RNA-mediated resistance has been shown to depend upon

transgene length. Plants transformed with small untranslatable segments (110 to 235 nt)

of the nucleoprotein gene of TSWV were not resistant. However, when those fragments

were ligated to the green fluorescent protein gene, resistance to TSWV was observed

(Pang et al., 1996). Based on this observation, it is suggested that a critical length of the

transgene is necessary to induce RNA-mediated resistance.

RNA-mediated resistance as a special case of post-transcriptional gene silencing

Gene silencing is the reduction or suppression of gene expression. It can occur at

the transcriptional level resulting in complete absence of transcription or at the post-

transcriptional level resulting in normal transcription levels but an increase in the rate of

transcript degradation (Stam et al., 1997). When post-transcriptional gene silencing

affects both the transgene and the endogenous gene, the phenomenon is known as co-

suppression (van den Boogaart et al., 1998). Co-suppression was first reported in 1990

when plants transformed with the chalcon synthase gene (chs), responsible for giving

color in petunia flowers, expressed a white flower color instead of the expected deep

purple. In addition to this phenotype, an intermediate phenotype in which plants displayed











white and purple flowers was observed. The mRNA level of the chs gene was

significantly lower in white sectors of flowers than in the purple, but the nuclear rates of

transcription of the transgene and endogenous gene were the same in both white and

purple sectors (Napoli et al., 1990; van der Krol et al., 1990).

Co-suppression and RNA-mediated resistance share several similarities. Both

require sequence homology between the transgene and the endogenous gene, or in the

case of virus resistance, the transgene and the incoming virus (van den Boogaart et al.,

1998). Both have post-transcriptionally inactivated genes or transgenes that, in turn,

inactivate homologous genes or homologous partial sequences (van den Boogaart et al.,

1998). Both processes appear to be correlated to the homozygosity of the gene or

transgene, or multiple copies of the transgene (Dehio and Shell, 1994; Dorlhac de Borne

et al., 1994). In both cases the nuclear expression of the gene or transgene is relatively

high and does not correlate to RNA steady-state levels in the cytoplasm (Lindbo and

Dougherty, 1992; van Blockland et al., 1994). Co-suppression requires the presence of an

endogenous gene for the post-transcriptional inactivation to occur, in contrast to RNA-

mediated resistance which has been shown to occur in the absence of a viral transgene.

Non-transgenic Nicotiana clevelandii plants were inoculated with the strain W22 tomato

black ring nepovirus (TBRV). The plants developed severe symptoms in the inoculated

leaves, but the newly developed upper leaves were asymptomatic and contained a

significantly lower concentration of TBRV. The recovered tissue was only resistant to the

infection of viruses with high RNA sequence homology to TBRV (Ratcliff et al., 1997).











Post-transcriptional gene silencing in transgenic plants can also be induced by

non-viral sequences introduced into viral genomes. Transgenic plants carrying the 3-

glucuronidase (GUS) gene were inoculated with a recombinant infectious clone of potato

virus X (PVX) containing the GUS gene cloned behind a duplicated PVX coat protein

promoter. Plants transformed with GUS showed a significant reduction in the expression

of GUS as well as resistance to PVX infection (English et al., 1996). This phenomenon is

known as episomal gene silencing.

Use of geminiviruses in episomal gene silencing studies

Geminiviruses have been used to study episomal gene silencing (Timmermans et

al., 1994). Geminiviruses make good plant episomal vectors because they replicate to

high copy numbers in the cell nucleus, and in some geminivirus-host combinations, up to

1 kb of foreign DNA can be integrated into the viral genome without affecting replication

or movement (Kjemtrup et al., 1998). TGMV was used to determine whether episomal

DNA can cause silencing of homologous, chromosomal genes (Kjemtrup et al., 1998).

Portions of the magnesium chelatase (su) gene ("a house-keeping gene"), and firefly

luciferase (lu) gene (a reporter" gene), were inserted into TGMV in place of the coat

protein gene and the constructs were inoculated to tobacco. The recombinant TGMV

containing su and lu gene sequences (TGMV::su and TGMV::lu) induced silencing of

the magnesium chelatase and luciferase genes, and lessened the severity of virus disease

symptoms. The pattern of silencing in the different tissues of the plant was correlated

with the systemic spread of the virus. The expression of su and lu was silenced in the

tissues where the presence of the virus was detected (Kjemptrup et al., 1998).











Possible mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene silencing

The reduction in the accumulation of specific transcripts observed in gene

silencing has been explained by an increase in RNA instability, by the activation of a

sequence-specific RNA degradation process, and by a combination of both. However, the

complete mechanism of the phenomenon is still unknown (Stam et al., 1997). The RNA

threshold model was proposed based on the observation that post-transcriptional gene

silencing (PTGS) was correlated with highly expressed transgenes which conferred

resistance to viral infection (Lindbo et al., 1993; Smith et al., 1994). Plants for which the

transgene was highly expressed did not accumulate transgene transcripts and were

resistant to homologous viruses (greater than 86% homology). Plants for which the

transgenes were transcribed at lower levels accumulated transgene mRNA and were

susceptible to virus infection (Smith et al., 1994). These results support the hypothesis

that when the virus infects the plant, the transcripts generated during the virus replication

added to the transgene transcript constitute the mRNA threshold level necessary for the

activation of a cytoplasmic sequence-specific RNA degradation mechanism (Lindbo et

al., 1993).

The RNA threshold model implies that cells are able to measure levels of specific

RNAs, but no supporting evidence for such a mechanism has yet been provided.

Dougherty and Parks (1995) postulated the existence of a complementary RNA (cRNA)

synthesized in the cytoplasm by a plant-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

(RdRP). The small cRNAs could hybridize to complementary RNAs which would be

degraded by double-stranded specific RNases. In support of this hypothesis, a RdRP from











tomato was characterized, and was shown to synthesize small RNAs using RNA

templates in vitro (Stam et al., 1997).

PTGS is often associated with methylated transgenes (Smith et al., 1994; English

et al., 1996; Sijen et al., 1996). Smith et al. (1994) reported that viral transgenes of virus-

resistant plants were methylated more than those of susceptible plants. It has been

proposed that the arrangement of transgenes in the plant plays a role in triggering PTGS.

Nicotiana benthamiana transformed with the cowpea mosaic virus movement protein

showed resistance to virus infection when plants were transformed with a transgene that

contained direct repeats of the movement protein sequences rather than a single transgene

(Sijen et. al. 1996).

Engineered Resistance to Geminiviruses

Kunik et al. (1994) used the coat protein gene of tomato yellow leaf curl virus

(TYLCV) to transform plants from an interspecific tomato hybrid (Lycopersicon

esculentum X L. pennellii), which is susceptible to TYLCV infection. Some transgenic

lines showed delay in the expression of disease symptoms and recovery from the disease,

with greater resistance after repeated inoculation with TYLCV. The resistant phenotypes

were associated with high expression of the transgene product. The susceptible transgenic

plants, however, only expressed the transgene at the RNA level.

Movement proteins have been used to confer resistance to geminivirus infection.

Tobacco plants were transformed with the sense and antisense sequences of the

movement genes (BV1 and BC1) of ToMoV (Duan et al., 1997a). Transgenic plants that

expressed a spontaneously mutated form of the BC 1 gene showed resistance to ToMoV









27

and cabbage leaf curl virus. The resistant phenotypes observed were a delay in symptom

development, recovery from mild early symptoms and complete absence of symptoms

and virus replication.

Brunetti et al. (1997) showed that tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum cv.

Moneymaker) transformed with a truncated version of the replication-associated protein

gene (AC1) of TYLCV were resistant to TYLCV infection. Plants transformed with the

transgene in the sense direction accumulated the truncated Rep protein and were resistant

to TYLCV. Conversely, plants containing both sense and antisense transgenes neither

accumulated the truncated Rep protein nor showed resistance to the virus. These

observations suggest that accumulation of the Rep protein was required to confer

resistance to TYLCV. Tobacco plants transformed with the Rep gene also have shown

resistance to geminivirus infection. Hong and Stanley (1996) reported that N.

benthamiana transformed with the wild-type AC1 gene of ACMV showed resistance to

ACMV infection. Furthermore, Noris et al. (1996) demonstrated that the expression in

tobacco of a Rep protein of TYLCV-Sr lacking the carboxy-terminus conferred resistance

to TYLCV-Sr infection.

The expression of antisense viral genes has also been used to confer resistance to

TGMV (Bejarano and Lichtenstein, 1994; Day et al., 1991) and TYLCV (Bendahmane

and Gronenborg, 1997). Tobacco plants transformed with antisense sequences of the

complete coding region of the coat protein gene plus the 5' portion of the AC2 and AC3

genes of TGMV showed an absence of disease symptoms and significant reduction of

replication rates of TGMV (Bejarano and Lichtenstein, 1994). Bendahmane and









28

Gronenborg (1997) observed resistance to TYLCV in tobacco plants transformed with the

antisense sequence of the replication-associated protein gene of TYLCV. Resistant plants

were asymptomatic, and TYLCV replication was almost completely suppressed.

Resistance to ACMV has been achieved by virus-induced expression of dianthin

in tobacco plants. Dianthin is a ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) from Dianthus

caryophyllus. RIPs are naturally occurring plant toxins effective against a range of animal

and plant viruses. Tobacco plants were transformed with a construct containing the

dianthin gene under the control of the ACMV virion-sense promoter which is

transactivated by the protein product of AC2. When transgenic plants were inoculated

with ACMV, they developed necrotic lesions in inoculated leaves, and virus replication

was greatly reduced. The symptoms of transgenic plants were attenuated and eventually

disappeared (Hong et al., 1996).

Relevance of the Present Study

Geminiviruses have been found as the cause of important crop losses in tropical

and subtropical areas. Tomato mottle virus has been a major threat for the tomato industry

in Florida since 1989, when it was first described (Kring et al., 1991). ToMoV has caused

crop losses valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. Disease management has mostly

been directed to control the whitefly vector by the frequent spraying of systemic

insecticides. This strategy is not cost-effective, may lead to a fast development of

resistance within whitefly populations and raises multiple environmental concerns.

The use of resistant cultivars has proven to be a very effective way to manage plant

diseases. The unavailability of ToMoV- resistant cultivars, and the absence of sources of











resistance within the genus Lycopersicon call for the identification of novel sources of

resistance and the development of non-traditional breeding approaches.

Transformation of plants with genes or sequences derived from pathogens has

proven to be a promising alternative in the quest for pathogen-resistant plants. The full-

length viral coat protein gene of RNA (Powell-Abel et al., 1986; Loesch-Fries et al.,

1987; Osbourn et al., 1989; Beachy et al., 1990, Quemada et al., 1991) and DNA viruses

(Kunik et al., 1994) has been effectively used to confer virus resistance, and it has been

shown that modifications of the coat protein gene result in even higher level of resistance

(Dougherty et al 1994; Smith et al., 1994; Mueller et al., 1995).

The present study is the first report of the use of a modified coat protein gene to

confer resistance to a geminivirus. The research focuses on the evaluation and

characterization of ToMoV resistance in tobacco plants transformed with a truncated

coat protein gene of ToMoV.















CHAPTER 2
TOBACCO PLANTS TRANSFORMED WITH A MODIFIED COAT PROTEIN OF
TOMATO MOTTLE BEGOMOVIRUS SHOW RESISTANCE TO VIRUS
INFECTION


Introduction

Tomato mottle virus (ToMoV) is a typical whitefly-transmitted begomovirus of

the New World. ToMoV was first identified in Florida in 1989 (Kring et al. 1991). Since

then, ToMoV has been found in all tomato production areas in Florida at incidences as

high as 95%, and losses as much as $125 million in the south Florida production area for

the 1990 1991 crop season (Polston et al., 1996). Due to the lack of tolerant or resistant

cultivars, control measures have been primarily focused on controlling the vector Bemisia

tabaci (Gennadius) by contact or systemic insecticides. This approach, however, brings

with it concomitant problems of insecticide resistance, low cost-benefit ratios, and

environmental concerns (Polston et al. 1996).

In order to establish whether the pathogen-derived resistance approach could be

used to generate novel sources of resistance against ToMoV infection, tobacco plants

(Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') were transformed with a modified ToMoV coat protein

gene. The response of the transformed plants to ToMoV inoculation was evaluated, and

some aspects of the resistant response were examined at the molecular level.
















Materials and Methods

Plant Transformation

Tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') were transformed using standard

Agrobacterium-mediated techniques (Horach et al. 1985) with a cassette containing the

ToMoV coat protein sequence, truncated by 30 nucleotides in the 5' end, under the

control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter and the cucumber mosaic virus

(CMV) coat protein 5'-untranslated leader sequence which provides a start codon for the

expression of the modified ToMoV coat protein ORF (Fig. 2-1). The following partial

sequence of the transformation cassette shows the CMV leader sequence (underlined

nucleotides), the start codon (lowercase nucleotides), and the 51 nucleotides of the 5' end

of the truncated ToMoV coat protein gene:GTTTAGTTGTTCACCTGAGTCGT

TTTTGTATTTTGCGTCTTATTGTGCCatgGATGCTAATTATTCTCCCC

GAATAACAAGGCCGCTGAATGGGTGAACCGGCC. This construct was

ligated into plasmid pBI121 (Clontech, Palo Alto, CA), a plant constitutive expression

vector containing the neomycinphospho-transferase II gene for selection and P-

glucuronidase reporter gene (Abouzid et al., 1992).



















CMV
Leader
Sequence
DA pGemex
6 '-Truncated ToMoV Coat Protein-3'






NPT 11 B-glucuronidase 4-psLl2


HinDIII Pstl
SphI

CaMV35S Nos
aPromoter Nos-tenrminator Nos
Promoter promoter



Figure 2-1. Transformation cassette used to transform tobacco plants (Nicotiana
tabacum 'Xanthi'). The coat protein sequence of ToMoV was cut out of a clone of the
tomato mottle virus A component using restriction enzymes Nco I and Xba I. The ligation
of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) coat protein leader sequence provides a start codon for
the expression of the modified ToMoV coat protein ORF. The construct was ligated into
plasmid pBI121 (Clontech, Palo Alto, CA), which contains the cauliflower mosaic virus
35S gene promoter, the neomycinphospho-transferase II gene for selection, and the
reporter gene P-glucoronidase.











Plant Inoculation and Disease Scoring

ToMoV was obtained from a culture maintained in tomato. It was transmitted to

tobacco plants by whiteflies and subsequently was maintained in tobacco. Whiteflies

were reared on the ToMoV-infected tobacco plants for a minimum of two generations.

Whiteflies and virus-infected plants were maintained in an insect rearing room (25C, 16

h photoperiod) at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton, Florida.

R1 transgenic and non-transformed tobacco seedlings (Nicotiana tabacum

'Xanthi') at the seven- to nine-leaf stage were exposed to viruliferous whiteflies (Bemisia

tabaci) by confinement in cages for 15 days, using about 20 insects per plant. The

whiteflies used in this study originated from a colony identified as the B biotype of B.

tabaci by isozyme analysis (Polston et al. ,, 1993).

Fifteen days after inoculation, and weekly thereafter for 120 days, disease severity

was evaluated using visual assessment and a rating scale of 0 to 4 as follows; 0 = no

symptoms observed, 1 = light mottling and a few thin yellow veins, 2 = mottling and vein

clearing unevenly distributed on the leaf, 3 = mottling, leaf distortion, and stunting, and 4

= severe mottling, leaf curling, and stunting. Onset of symptom expression as well as

disease severity was recorded for each plant.

Detection of ToMoV and the Transgene

The presence of the viral DNA in the inoculated plants was determined by

polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using primers EH 287 (5'-

GCCTTCTCAAACTTGCTCATTCAAT-3') and EH 288 (5'- GTTCGCAACAA

ACAGAG TGTAT-3') designed to encompass the 5' and 3' ends of the ToMoV coat









34

protein ORF, respectively. Reactions were run for 3 cycles of 95C for 3 min, 55C for 2

min, and 72C for 4 min; followed by 34 cycles of 95C for 2 min, 55C for 1 min and

72C for 3.45 min. The annealing temperature duration was decreased one second in

every cycle.

Successful transformation was confirmed by PCR amplification using primers JAP 28 (5'-

GATAGTGGAAAAGGAAGG-3') and JAP 82 (5'-CCTTACCGATATGTGA-3') which

bind to the CaMV 35S promoter and ToMoV coat protein gene coding region,

respectively. Amplification was carried out for 34 cycles of 94C for 1 min, 50C for 1

min and 72C for 3 min with a final amplification of 72C for 5 min.

ELISA.

ELISA for ToMoV detection in tobacco leaf extracts was carried out with the

triple-sandwich method as described by Cancino et al. (1995). ELISA plate wells were

coated with polyclonal antiserum 1110 (1:1,000). After the incubation of plant samples,

the 3F7 monoclonal antibody (1:10,000) was added to wells, and the plates were

incubated overnight at 4C. Goat anti-mouse IgG conjugated with alkaline phosphatase

(Sigma Chemicals, St. Louis, MO) (1:30,000) then was added to the wells, the plate was

incubated for 1 h and washed three times. After the addition of the substrate (p-

nitrophenyl phosphate) absorbency readings (405 nm) were taken on a Biotek EL 309

automated microplate reader (Bio-Tek Instruments Inc., VT) every 30 minutes for two

hours.











DNA and RNA Extraction

Plant genomic DNA to be used in the Southern blot procedure was isolated by a

modification of the method of Cocciolone and Cone (1993). Tissue from newly emerged

leaves (0.2 g) was ground in liquid nitrogen with 1 ml of extraction buffer (7 M urea, 0.35

M NaCl, 50 mM Tris, pH 8.0, 20 mM EDTA, 1% Sarkosyl). This extract was transferred

to a 2 ml microcentrifuge tube and extracted with 1:1 (v/v) phenol/chloroform/isoamyl

alcohol (25:24:1). After centrifugation at 3000 x g for 5 min, the supernatant was

extracted with 1:1 (v/v) chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (24:1) and centrifuged at 6000 x g

for 5 min. An equal volume of isopropanol was added to the supernatant, and the mixture

was kept at -20C for 1 h. The DNA was precipitated by centrifugation at 6000 x g for 20

min and redissolved in TE (10 mM Tris-HCl, pH 8.0, 1 mM EDTA) containing 0.5%

Sarkosyl with 10[lg of RNase. After a 30 min incubation at 37C, the mixture was

extracted once with phenol/chloroform (1:1) and then with chloroform. DNA was

reprecipitated with 0.1 volume of 3 M sodium acetate and 2.5 volumes of 100% ethanol.

DNA samples were dissolved in RNase and DNase-free water (molecular biology-grade

water) and stored at -20C.

Total RNA to be used in the Northern blots was isolated by a modification of the

Cocciolone and Cone method (1993). Samples were prepared and extracted as above

until just before the isopropanol addition. After the addition of an equal volume of

isopropanol and chilling on ice for 5 min, a DNA precipitate was formed. The soluble

fraction containing the RNA was decanted into a 1.5 ml eppendorf tube and chilled at -









36

20C for 1 h. The RNA was precipitated by centrifugation at 16,000 x g for 10 min. The

pellet was washed with 70% ethanol and dissolved in molecular biology grade-water.

DNA and RNA Blot Analyses

Ten p~g of genomic DNA from R, plants were digested overnight at 37C with

restriction enzymes EcoRI, which cuts outside of the transgene, and Xbal, which cuts at

the 3' end of the transgene. The digested DNA was separated by electrophoresis on

0.75% agarose and transferred to a nylon membrane with alkaline transfer buffer, and the

membrane was UV crosslinked while damp. The probe was made by random primer

labeling of the PCR product generated with primers JAP 28 and JAP 82 using a non-

radioactive, random octamer labeling system (Tropix, Bedford, MA). The probe

contained the partial CaMV 35S promoter sequence, CMV leader region sequence, and

about 170 nucleotides of the 5' end of ToMoV coat protein sequence. The hybridization

was performed overnight at 65C in a hybridization buffer containing 1 mM EDTA, 7%

SDS, 0.25 M disodium phosphate, pH 7.2, followed by a high stringency wash and

detection of the biotinylated DNA using Tropix chemiluminescence detection system

(Tropix, Bedford, MA).

Ten to 15 pIg of total RNA were separated on a 1.0% agarose gel with

formaldehyde. The RNA was blotted onto a nylon membrane (Bioblot-N Plus, Costar

Scientific Corp., Cambridge, MA). The blot was hybridized with the full length ToMoV

coat protein gene DNA fragment, generated by PCR amplification and labeled with biotin

using Tropix non-radioactive random octamer labeling system (Tropix, Bedford, MA).











The presence of the transgene transcript was determined using the same detection

protocol used for Southern blots.

Protein Blots

The subcellular fractions of the leaf extracts from transgenic and non-transgenic

control tobacco plants were prepared as described by Pascal et al. (1993). The proteins

were separated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in a discontinuous Laemmli

system (5.6% acrylamide stacking gel and 10% acrylamide separation gel). The separated

proteins were electrotransferred onto a nitrocellulose membrane (Bio-Rad Laboratories,

Hercules, CA) and detected with mouse monoclonal 3F7, (made against a mixture of

purified virions of bean golden mosaic virus isolates from Guatemala and Dominican

Republic), which efficiently recognizes ToMoV (Cancino et al. 1995), and a rabbit

polyclonal antiserum 1175. The polyclonal antiserum was made against the truncated

ToMoV coat protein (expressed in Escherichia coli) using the same coat protein construct

which was used to transform the tobacco plants in this study (Abouzid et al.,

unpublished). The immunoreaction was detected by adding anti-mouse IgG alkaline

phosphatase and anti-rabbit IgG alkaline phosphatase conjugates, respectively, followed

by the enzyme substrate NBT/BCIP (Life Technologies, Princeton, NJ).

Results

Detection of the transgene. The presence of the modified coat protein gene was

detected by PCR in different frequencies among lines in the R, generation (Table 2 1).

The lowest frequency occurred in line R, -cp 12 (12.5%) and the highest occurred in line

Ri-cp 6 (100%).











Response to virus inoculation. The results of two separate inoculations with

ToMoV of the R, generation of the tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi')

transformed with the modified ToMoV coat protein gene are summarized in Table 2 1.

In the first inoculation twelve plants of the R, generation from each of ten Ro tobacco

plants, and 22 non-transformed plants were used. In the second inoculation of 12 plants of

lines Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 11, Rl-cp 12 and 12 non-transformed control plants were used.

In the first inoculation all 22 non-transgenic plants were infected by 15 days after

inoculation (dai), as determined by PCR amplification. A range of symptom severity was

observed; 10 plants had a symptom severity rating of 1 (light mottling and thin yellow

veins), another 10 plants had a rating of 2 (mottling and vein clearing unevenly

distributed on the leaf), and 1 plant had a rating of 3 (mottling, leaf distortion, thick

yellow veins, and stunting). By 30 dai all non-transgenic plants had a symptom severity

rating of 3.

Differences in responses to ToMoV inoculation between transformed and non-

transformed plants were apparent as early as 15 dai. The response of plants in which the

transgene was present varied among plants and over time. At 15 dai, 21 plants had a

symptom severity rating of 0, 32 plants had a rating of 1, 26 plants had a rating of 2, and

5 plants had a rating of 3. ToMoV was detected in all transformed plants displaying

symptoms and in 10 of the 21 asymptomatic plants using PCR amplification.

At 30 dai, a wild type phenotype ( mottling, leaf distortion, and stunting

symptoms observed in ToMoV-infected non-transgenic tobacco), was observed in 18




































Figure 2-2. Response of transgenic tobacco plants to inoculation with ToMoV
A) Symptoms of rating 4 in a transgenic plant. B) Non-transgenic control (left) showing
mottling and stunting (rating = 3) compared with a resistant transgenic plant (right) at 120
dai. C) Detached leaf of a non-transgenic control plant (top) showing severe mottling
(rating = 4), compared with a leaf of a resistant transgenic plant (bottom) at 120 dai. D)
Recovery phenotype: inoculated leaves showing mottling (rating = 3) contrasting with the
newly formed and asymptomatic leaves on the same plant. E) F) Severe yellowing of the
veins (symptom not rated) found only in transgenic plants.









40

transformed plants. In addition, a recovery phenotype was observed in eleven plants from

line Rl-cp 6. These plants had a symptom rating of 1 at 15 dai but by 30 dai had a rating

of 0. These plants remained asymptomatic until the end of the experiment (120 dai).

ToMoV was detected in the symptomatic leaves of the eleven plants using PCR

amplification at 15 dai; however, ToMoV was not detected in the asymptomatic leaves of

any of these plants using either PCR amplification or ELISA at 30, 60, and 120 dai.

At 60 dai, six distinct phenotypes: wild type, enhanced wild type, bright vein

yellowing, delay in symptom expression, recovery, and immunity could be observed in

plants in which the transgene was present (Fig. 2- 2). Plants which displayed the wild

type phenotype, (a rating of 3) were found at low frequencies in all lines (Fig. 2 2 A).

Plants which displayed an enhanced wild-type phenotype (severe mottling, leaf curling,

and stunting) had a rating of 4, and were found at low frequencies in lines R, -cp 4, R, -cp

5, R, -cp 7, and R, -cp 12. Plants with the bright vein yellowing phenotype had a rating of

1 at 15 and 30 dai, but by 60 dai displayed an unusual pattern of thick yellow veins which

fell outside the rating scale (Fig. 2 2 E and F). This phenotype was not observed in non-

inoculated transformed plants or in ToMoV infected non-transformed plants. ToMoV was

detected in all plants exhibiting this phenotype. Plants with the delay in symptom

expression phenotype, had a rating of 0 at 15 dai, by 30 dai had ratings of 1 and 2 and by

60 dai had ratings of 2, 3 or 4. This phenotype was observed in 10 plants in lines Rl-cp 8,

Rl-cp 10, and Rl-cp 12. The immunity phenotype was observed in 13 plants from all

lines except Rl-cp 7 (Fig. 2 2 B and C). Plants were considered immune when no











symptoms were expressed within 120 dai, and ToMoV was not detected by either PCR

amplification or ELISA at 30, 60, and 120 dai.

In the second inoculation, 11 out of the12 non-transgenic plants were infected at

15 dai. Four plants in line Rl-cp 6, two plants in line Rl-cp 11, and one plant in line Rl-cp

12 displayed an immune phenotype. The recovery and enhanced wild type phenotypes

were not observed.

The recovery and immunity phenotypes were considered resistant responses. The

transgenic lines showed different frequencies of resistance in plants in which the presence

of the transgene was confirmed. Frequencies ranged from high (100% in lines Rl-cp 10

and Rl-cp 12), to moderate (66.6% in line Rl-cp 8, and 62.5% in line Rl-cp 6), to low (20

- 25% in lines Rl-cp 2, Rl-cp 4, Rl-cp 5, and Rl-cp 11) to none (0% in line Rl-cp 7)

(Table 1). At 120 dai, all plants displaying a resistant response tested negative for

ToMoV by ELISA and PCR amplification.

Correlation between the presence of the ToMoV-modified coat protein gene

and the resistant phenotype. The modified coat protein gene was present in 12.5% to

100% of plants in each of the transformed lines (Table 2- 1). Twenty percent of plants

with the transgene exhibited a resistant response. The presence of the transgene was

established in all plants which displayed a recovery or immune phenotype, as well as in

those plants which displayed the unusual vein yellowing pattern.

Transgene copy number, transgene level of transcription, transgene

expression. Southern blot analysis of selected resistant plants revealed that the




















1 2 3 4 5


Figure 2-3. Hybridization analysis of total RNA from selected resistant transgenic
plants. The plants used in this assay did not show disease symptoms and tested negative
for the presence of ToMoV by PCR. The hybridization was performed with a biotin-
labeled probe to the full length ToMoV coat protein gene. A) Lane Icorresponds to a virus
infected non-transgenic plant, lane 3 corresponds to a non-inoculated, non-transformed
plant, lanes 2 and 4 correspond to resistant plants of lines Rl-cp 8 and Rl-cp 11. B) Lanel
corresponds to a non-inoculated, non-transformed tobacco plant ; lanes 2, 3, 4, and 5,
correspond to selected resistant plants of lines R1-cp 6, R1-cp 10, R1-cp 11, and R1-cp 12
showing the presence of the transgene transcript.


1 2 3 4


















1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 M


200Kd





29Kd






Figure 2-4. Protein blot of the immune transgenic tobacco plants. The immune
transgenic plants were tested with a ToMoV coat protein antibody. Lanel healthy control;
lanes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 correspond to selected resistant plants of lines Rl-cp 2, Rl-cp 4,
Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 8, Rl-cp 10, Rl-cp 11, and Rl-cp 12, respectively, showing lack of protein
reactivity with the antiserum made against ToMoV coat protein; lane 9 corresponds to
ToMoV-infected tobacco plant; M corresponds to molecular weight marker











transgene was present either as a single copy in lines Rl-cp 10 and Rl-cp 11 or multiple

copies in lines Rl-cp 4, Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 8, and R, -cp 12 (data not shown). The Northern

blot analysis performed using tissue from the same plants chosen for the Southern

analysis revealed the presence of the transgene transcript, but quantitative differences

among the transgenic lines were not evident (Fig. 2 3). Protein blot analysis performed

in resistant plants of the lines Rl-cp 2, Rl-cp 4, Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 10, Rl-cp 11, and Rl-cp 12

showed that the transgene protein was not detectable (Fig. 2 4).

Discussion

The R, generation of tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') transformed

with a binary vector containing the coat protein gene of ToMoV modified by the deletion

of 30 nucleotides in the 5 end exhibited different degrees of resistance to ToMoV

infection that included immunity and recovery from the initial onset of the disease.

Although the correlation was not 100%, there was a positive correlation between the

presence of the transgene and the resistant phenotypes. In addition, the presence of the

transgene gave rise in some cases to infected plants that expressed unusual symptoms

(bright vein yellowing phenotype).

The protein product of the transgene was not detected in any of the resistant lines.

It is possible that the protein was not detected because it was rapidly cleared from the cell

due to an inability to fold and to adopt a native conformation as a result of the N-terminus

truncation. Lack of cellular retention of the protein due to irregular folding was reported

for a truncated form of tobacco etch virus coat protein (Swaney et al. ,1995).

Alternatively, modification of the N-terminus of the ToMoV coat protein could cause the











protein to remain in the cytoplasm where there is high proteolytic activity. Kunik et al.

(1998) showed that the nuclear localization signal of the coat protein of tomato yellow

leaf curl virus (TYLCV), a monopartite whitefly-transmitted geminivirus, mapped to the

N-terminus, and its deletion would be expected to impair the accumulation of the coat

protein in the nuclei. The inability to detect the transgene product suggests that the

protein may not be involved in eliciting the resistant response.

The only report of engineered resistance to a geminivirus using the coat protein

gene was by Kunik et al. (1994), who reported that resistance to TYLCV was associated

with the presence of the transgene product. Plants in which the transgene product was not

detected were susceptible to TYLCV (Kunik et al. ,1994).

Viral coat protein genes have been widely used to engineer resistance to RNA

viruses. Reports of resistance using full length non-modified coat protein genes indicate

that resistance was positively correlated to levels of expression of the transgene

(Hemmenway et al. ,1988; Loesch-Fries et al. ,1987; Powell et al. 1986; Tumer et al.

,1987; van Dun et al. ,1988). Resistance was expressed as a reduction in symptom

severity and reduction of virus accumulation. In addition, resistance could be overcome

by increasing the dose of inoculum. These results contrast with the resistance obtained

from a modified coat protein gene of TEV (Silva-Rosales et al. 1994). In that study

Nicotiana tabacum cv. Burley was transformed with the TEV coat protein gene modified

by a stop codon near the 3' end. Though a transgene transcript was detected, the transgene

product could not be detected and transformed plants were highly resistant. These results

are similar to ours using a modified ToMoV coat protein gene.









46

There are numerous reports of genetically engineered resistant responses to RNA

viruses. A lack of correlation between resistance and the expression level of the

transgene was observed in many of these reports. This type of resistance has been referred

to as RNA-mediated (Lindbo and Dougherty, 1992; Meyer and Saedler, 1996; Prins and

Goldbach, 1996). RNA-mediated resistance is also characterized by a lack of dependence

upon inoculum dose and a narrow spectrum of protection. In the present research

resistance responses (recovery and immunity) were observed in transgenic plants

subjected to relatively high inoculation levels (continuous inoculation for 15 days by

approximately 20 whiteflies per plant). RNA-mediated resistance is often associated with

the presence of multiple copies of the transgene and/or transgene tandem repeats (Sijen et

al. 1996) which agrees with our observation that the majority of the transgenic plants

exhibiting a resistant response had multiple copies of the transgene.

The lack of correlation between the level of expression of the truncated ToMoV

coat protein gene and the resistance response suggests that the resistance may be due to an

RNA-mediated mechanism.
















CHAPTER 3
CHARACTERIZATION OF THE RESISTANCE TO ToMoV INFECTION
DISPLAYED BY TOBACCO PLANTS TRANSFORMED WITH A TRUNCATED
COAT PROTEIN OF ToMoV


Introduction

The R, generation of tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') transformed

with a ToMoV coat protein gene truncated by 30 nucleotides in the 5' end showed

resistance to tomato mottle virus (ToMoV) infection. The resistant plants exhibited

immunity or recovery from the initial onset of the disease. In order to characterize the

resistance, the progeny of selected R, resistant and susceptible plants were inoculated

with ToMoV. The symptom development was recorded for eight weeks using a five level

visual scale and the presence of ToMoV was confirmed by PCR amplification. The

association of the transgene with the resistant response of the R2 plants was established by

detecting the transgene in each one of the inoculated plants by PCR amplification. The

patterns of inheritance and sequence of the transgene were also determined. Two RNA

viruses and one begomovirus were selected to assess the breadth of the resistance. Twelve

plants from each of six resistant R, transgenic lines and 12 plants transformed with the

transformation cassette without the ToMoV coat protein gene were inoculated with

tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), and TYLCV. Disease

development was recorded by visual scoring and ELISA.











Materials and Methods

Plant Inoculation

ToMoV inoculation. The whiteflies used in this study originated from a colony

identified as the B biotype of B. tabaci by isozyme analysis (Polston et al., 1993). ToMoV

was obtained from a culture maintained in tomato. Whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius)

and ToMoV infected plants were maintained in an environmentally controlled growth

chamber (25C, 16 h photoperiod) at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center,

Bradenton, Florida. Twelve R2 generation plants generated from each one of the plants

identified as 01, 04, 06, and 08 from line Rl-cp 6 (lines R2 cp 6 01,R2 cp 6 04, R2 -

cp 6 06, and R2 cp 6 08), plant number 09 from line Rj- cp 7 (line R2 cp 7 09),

plant number 10 from line Rl-cpl0 (line R2 cp 10 10), plant number 06 from line Rj-

cp 11 (line R2 cp 11 06), and 12 non-transformed tobacco plants planted in individual

4" plastic pots were exposed to viruliferous whiteflies for 15 days in two tubular cages

made up of chiffon. Cages were located in a small fiberglass greenhouse. Plants from

different lines and the controls were placed randomly inside the cages. Tomato and

tobacco plants infected with ToMoV and infested with more than five thousand whiteflies

were distributed among the test plants. Every morning and afternoon source and test

plants were gently shaken to ensure an even distribution of the whiteflies on all plants.

Each day the average number of whiteflies per plant was determined.

Fifteen days after inoculation, and weekly thereafter for 52 days, disease severity

was evaluated using visual assessment and a rating scale of 0 to 4 as follows; 0 = no

symptoms observed, 1 = light mottling and a few thin yellow veins, 2 = mottling and vein









49

clearing unevenly distributed on the leaf, 3 = mottling, leaf distortion, and stunting, and 4

= severe mottling, leaf curling, and stunting. At 52 days after inoculation the presence of

ToMoV in the lower and upper leaves was determined by PCR amplification.

TYLCV inoculation. TYLCV was obtained from a culture maintained in tomato.

Whiteflies and TYLCV-infected tomato plants were maintained in a growth chamber

(250C, 12 h photoperiod) at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton,

Florida. Twelve R, plants from lines Rl-cp 4, Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 8, R, -cp 10, Rl-cp 11, Rl-cp

12, twelve plants transformed with a transformation cassette without the truncated coat

protein gene, and twelve non-transformed plants were inoculated with TYLCV. Plastic

trays containing the12 test plants from each line were placed in individual tubular cages

with approximately 20 TYLCV viruliferous whiteflies per plant for 15 days. The

inoculation cages were maintained in a growth chamber, and at the end of the inoculation

period, the test plants were drenched with the systemic insecticide Admire. At four

weeks after inoculation, the infection of test plants with TYLCV was determined by dot

blot hybridization.

CMV inoculation. The CMV used in this experiment was isolate 2147 obtained

from naturally infected cucurbits found in an Alachua Co., Florida, in 1987 (Purcifull, D.,

personal communication). Twelve R, plants from lines Rl-cp 4, Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 8, R, -cp

10, Rl-cp 11, Rl-cp 12, twelve plants transformed with the transformation cassette

without the truncated coat protein gene, and twelve non transformed plants were

mechanically inoculated with CMV. The source of inoculum was seven four-week-old

squash seedlings mechanically inoculated with CMV. Young symptomatic leaves were











homogenized 1: 5 (w/v) with a mortar and pestle in a mixture of chilled 20 mM

phosphate buffer pH 7.5 containing carborundum. The mixture was rubbed on the surface

of the tobacco leaves making sure that all the new leaves in every plant were inoculated.

Disease development was recorded at four weeks after inoculation by visual assessment

of symptom development and by ELISA.

TMV inoculation. The TMV used in this experiment was the common isolate.

Desiccated tobacco tissue infected with TMV was ground with a mixture of 20 mM

phosphate buffer pH 7.5 and carborundum 1: 5 (w/v), and 12 plants of tobacco (Nicotiana

tabacum 'Xanthi') were mechanically inoculated. Two weeks after inoculation,

symptomatic leaves were used to mechanically inoculate twelve R, plants each from lines

Rl-cp 4, Rl-cp 6, Rl-cp 8, R, -cp 10, Rl-cp 11, Rl-cp 12, twelve tobacco plants

transformed with the transformation cassette without the truncated coat protein gene, and

twelve untransformed tobacco plants. Disease development was recorded at four weeks

after inoculation by visual assessment of symptom development and by ELISA.

Detection of ToMoV in Inoculated Plants

A sample from a lower and an upper leaf of each one of the inoculated R2

generation plants was collected 30 dai, and the presence of the viral DNA was determined

by PCR amplification using primers PAL1c496 5'- AATACTGCACTTYCT

RTACATRGG-3' and PAL1v 1978 5'-GCATCCCCACATYG TCTTYCCNGT-3'. These

are degenerate primers that anneal to the coding regions of the coat protein gene and to

Rep gene, respectively. These primers have been proven to detect the A component of

whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses (Rojas, et al. 1993). Reactions were run in a Perkin









51

Elmer thermal cycler (GeneAmp PCR system 9700) at 940C for 2 min., 35 cycles of 940C

for 30 sec., 550C for 35 sec., 720C for 1 min. 15 sec. adding two seconds every cycle to

the elongation time (1:15), ending with 720C for 7 min.

Detection of TYLCV in Inoculated Plants

The TYLCV systemic infection in tobacco was detected by dot blot hybridization

using the protocol described by McGovern et al.(1994). Leaf samples were homogenized

in a mechanized sap extractor, and the crude homogenates were placed in microcentrifuge

tubes containing 140 Ill of TE buffer (10 mM Tris-HCL and 1 mM EDTA, pH 8.0). The

DNA was denatured by adding 20 pll of 1 M NaOH to each sample, followed by

incubation at room temperature for 10 min. Then, 20 p1l of 3 M sodium acetate pH 4.5

were added, and samples were incubated for 10 min. at room temperature. 20 pl1 of the

extracted samples were blotted onto a nylon membrane (Hybond'-N +, Amersham,

Arlington Heights, IL) using a minifold filtration unit (Minifold I SRC 96,m Schleicher

& Schuell, Keene, NH).

The hybridization was performed overnight at 650C in a hybridization buffer

containing 25 mM NaPO4 pH 4, 10% SDS, 5X Denhardt's solution, and 1 mM EDTA.

The probe used was a 312 bp fragment amplified from TYLCV-Egypt (Maxwell, D.,

personal communication) labeled with 32P. A high stringency wash was applied to the

blots. Results were recorded after an overnight exposure on X-ray film (HyperfilmTM-

MP, Amersham, Arlington Heights, IL).











Detection of CMV and TMV in Inoculated Plants

The presence of CMV and TMV in the inoculated plants was determined by

double antibody sandwich-enzyme linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA). The ELISA

plates were coated with polyclonal antiserum prepared against CMV or TMV (AGDIA,

Elkhart, IN,) diluted 1: 750 in coating buffer at 40C overnight. Plates were washed three

times with PBST. After the incubation of plant samples, a secondary polyclonal antisera

made against CMV or TMV conjugated with horseradish peroxidase was added to the

well. The conjugated antisera was diluted 1:250 in conjugate buffer (MRS component

diluted 1:5 in PBS). Plates were incubated at room temperature for 2 h. Serological

reaction were detected by adding 100 pll of substrate solution (o- phenylenediamine

dihydrochloride lmg/ml, 30 % hydrogen peroxide 0.40 / 1000 ml, sodium phosphate

dibasic 7.33 g/ 1000ml, citric acid anhydrous 4.66 g / 1000 ml, pH 5.0) to each well.

Absorbency at 490 nm was recorded every 15 min. for 2 h.

Detection of the Transgene

Twelve R2 plants from each of 15 resistant plants of lines R, -cp 2, R, -cp 4, R, -

cp 5, R, -cp 6, R, -cp 8, R, -cp 9, R, -cp 10, R, -cp 11 and twelve R2 plants from a

susceptible plant of line R, -cp 7 were tested by PCR amplification for the presence of

the transgene. Primers JAP 28 (5'-GATAGTGGAAAAGGAAGG-3') and JAP 82 (5'-

CCT TACCGATATGTGA-3'), which anneal to the CaMV 35S promoter, and ToMoV

coat protein gene coding region, respectively, were used to detect the transgene.

Amplification was carried out for 34 cycles of 94C for 1 min, 50C for 1 min and 72C

for 3 min, with a final elongation of 72C for 5 min.











Detection of the Transgene Transcript

Ten to 15 p~g of total RNA from selected non-inoculated R2 plants from lines R2 -

cp 6- 01, R2- cp 6- 04, R2- cp 6- 06, R2- cp 6- 08, R2- cp 7- 09, R2- cp 10 10, a

resistant R, generation plant from line R, cp 6, a ToMoV infected non-transformed

plant, and a non-transformed non-inoculated tobacco plant were separated on a 1.0%

agarose gel with formaldehyde, blotted onto a nylon membrane (Bioblot-N Plus, Costar

Scientific Corp., Cambridge, MA), and hybridized with a DNA fragment composed of the

full length ToMoV coat protein sequence, generated by PCR amplification and labeled

with biotin using Tropix non-radioactive random octamer labeling system (Tropix,

Bedford, MA) followed by the same detection protocol used for Southern blots.

Sequencing of the Transgene

The transgene was amplified from a resistant plant from line R, -cp 6 and from a

non-inoculated plant from line R2 cp 6 01. The PCR amplification was performed

using either primers JAP 28 and EH 290 (5'-GTGAATTCGCAACAAAC AGAGTG-3')

that anneal to the CaMV promoter and the 3'end of the ToMoV coat protein transgene,

respectively, or primers EH 55 (5'-GTTTAGTTGTTCACCT-3') and JAP 290. Primer EH

55 anneals to the CMV leader sequence. PCR products were cloned into pGEM-T vector

following the instructions indicated in the pGEM-T vector system's technical bulletin.

The transgene PCR product was sequenced at the DNA sequencing core laboratory,

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida ,by PCR elongation using T 7 promoter

primers.











Results

Heritability of the Resistant Response

Heritability of the transgene. The truncated coat protein gene was detected at

different frequencies in the R2 generation of selected resistant and susceptible plants

(Table 3-1). The transgene was found at high frequencies ranging from 75 to 100 % in the

progeny from lines R, cp 2, R, cp 4, R, cp 6, R, cp 9, and R, cp 10 ; moderate

frequencies ranging from 66 to 50% in the progeny of plant 3 from line R, cp 5, line R, -

cp 8, line R, cp 9, and the progeny from plant 9 of line R, cp 11 and low frequencies

(25%) in the progeny of plant # 10 from line R, cp 5 and the progeny of plant 11 of line

11 (Table 3-1).

Heritability of the resistant response. The results of the inoculation of ToMoV

tol2 R2 progeny from each of 6 ToMoV resistant R, plants, 1 susceptible R, plant, and 12

non-transgenic controls, are summarized in Tables 3-2 and 3-3. Fifteen days after

inoculation (dai), 10 out of the 12 control plants displayed symptoms typical of ToMoV

with an average symptom severity rating of 2.5, and all tested positive for the presence of

ToMoV by PCR amplification (Table 3-3). At 30 dai, and until the end of the experiment

11 out of 12 controls were infected and had a symptom severity rating of 3.

At 15 dai all R2 plants from lines R2 cp 11- 06 and R2 cp 7- 09 had a symptom

severity rating of 3. Plants from lines R2- cp 6 01, R2- cp 6 04, R2- cp 6 06, R2- cp 6-

08, had an average symptom severity rating of 2.5 and plants in line R2- cp 10 10 had an

average symptom severity rating of 2.7. At 60 dai 4 distinct phenotypes in the

transformed plants were observed : 6 plants were asymptomatic (symptom severity














Table 3-1. Presence of the transgene in the R2 generation of selected resistant and
susceptible R, tobacco plants transformed with a truncated coat protein of ToMoV


Germplasm
line


Plant ID
Number


Number of R2
Plants tested


Number of R2
Plants with
Transgeneb


R, -cp 2

R, -cp 4

R, -cp 5


R, -cp 6


9 12


R, -cp 7












Table 3-1. Continuation


Germplasm
line




R1 -cp 8

R1 -cp 9


R1-cp 10

RI -cp 11


Plant ID
number




12

4

8
10

9

11


Number of R2
plants
inoculated



12

12

12
12

12


Number of R2
plants with the
transgeneb



6

6

6
9

6


a A consecutive number from 1 to 12 was given to each one of the twelve R, plants from
each line that were inoculated with ToMoV.

b The presence of the transgene was established by PCR amplification using primers JAP
28 and JAP 82 which anneal to the CaMV 35S promoter and the coat protein gene
coding region.














Table 3-2. Phenotypes observed in the R2 generation of tobacco plants transformed
with a truncated ToMoV coat protein gene at 60 days after inoculation with ToMoV


Germplasm
line


Number of
plants
evaluated


Number of
plants with
attenuated
symptoms a


Number of plants
with severe
symptoms b


Number of
asymptomatic
plants


R2-cp 6 01 12 3 8 1

R2-cp 6 04 12 3 7 2

R2-cp 6 06 12 2 8 2

R2-cp 6 08 12 6 6 0

R2-cp 7 09 12 0 12 0

R2-cp 10- 10 12 1 10 1

R2-cp 11- 06 12 0 12 0

non-
transgenic 12 0 11 1
controls



a Symptom expression in transgenic and non-transgenic plants were rated using a 5 level
visual scale. At 60 dai control plants displayed symptoms rated 3. Plants with a
symptom severity rating of 1 or 2 were considered to display attenuated symptoms.

b Plants displaying symptoms 3 and 4 were considered severely infected.















Table 3-3. Detection of ToMoV in the R2 generation of tobacco plants transformed with a
truncated ToMoV coat protein gene at 60 dai.



Germplasm Number of plants Number of plants
line inoculated with ToMoV infected with ToMoV a


R2 -cp 6 01

R2 -cp 6 04

R2 -cp 6 06

R2 -cp 6 08

R2 -cp 7 09

R2-cp 10 10

R2-cp 11 06

non-transgenic


controls






a Presence of ToMoV was established by PCR amplification using primers
complementary to the coding regions of the coat protein and Rep genes and by
visual assessment using a 5 level scale.









59

rating of 0), 63 plants displayed severe symptoms (symptom severity rating of 3 or

4) and 15 plants had attenuated symptoms (symptom severity rating of 3 or 4)

(Table 3-2). Plants in the attenuated group displayed symptoms in two patterns.

Seven plants showed symptoms rated 1 or 2 in all leaves through the study (Fig. 3-

1), and 10 plants displayed severe symptoms in the inoculated leaves but the new

growth showed symptoms rated 1 or 2. All plants showing attenuated and severe

symptoms tested positive by PCR amplification for the presence of ToMoV in the

lower and upper leaves (Table 3-3).

Breadth of Resistance

At four weeks after inoculation all plants inoculated with CMV and TMV

showed mosaics characteristic of the virus infection. All plants tested positive by

DAS-ELISA for the presence of CMV and TMV respectively. Plants inoculated

with TYLCV did not display symptoms because Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi' is an

asymptomatic host of TYLCV (Polston, J. E., personal communication). Dot blot

hybridization assays showed that 97% of the inoculated transformed plants and 100

% of the non-transformed controls were infected with TYLCV.

Mechanism of Resistance

Sequencing of the transgene. A PCR product containing the CaMV 35S

promoter sequence, the CMV leader sequence and the truncated coat protein gene

sequence amplified from a resistant plant of line Rl-cp 6 was sequenced in the 5'

3' and 3' 5' directions. A sequence comparison showed that there were no







































A B C D


Figure 3-1. Detached leaves from an R2 generation plant showing attenuation
of symptoms. Leaf samples from the top (A), middle (B,C) and lower (D) sections
of an R2 generation plant from line R2 cp 6 08 showing a symptom severity rating
of 1.









61

mutations in the transgene. The sequence of 364 nucleotides in the 3' > 5'direction

of the transgene amplified from a non-inoculated plants from line R2 cp 6 01

was established. A sequence comparison showed that there were not mutations in

this partial sequence of the transgene.

Transgene transcript detection. The transgene transcript was not detected

by Northern blot hybridization of total RNA from selected non-infected plants

from lines R2 cp 6 01, R2- cp 6 04, R2- cp 6 06, R2 cp 6- 08, R2- cp 7 09,

R2 cp 10 10 with the full length ToMoV coat protein gene sequence (Fig. 3 3;

Fig. 3 4).

Discussion

Previous Southern hybridization analyses of selected transgenic plants had

indicated that lines Rl-cp 10 and Rl-cp 11 had single copies of the transgene, line

Rl-cp 6 had two copies, and lines R, cp 4, Rl-cp 8, and R, -cp 12 had multiple

copies of the transgene (chapter 1). Based on the Mendelian ratios established for

one allele, in the R2 generation of a selfing cross 75% of the progeny should

contain the transgene. The results obtained for lines R, cp 10, R, cp 11 (Table 3-

1), showed that the inheritance of the transgene in line R, cp 10 followed the

Mendelian fashion. Conversely, only 37.5 % of the plants of line R, cp 11 had the

transgene. For multiple alleles segregating independently the expected ratio is the

addition of the individual probabilities so that more that 75% of the progeny would

be expected to have the transgene. In lines R, cp 4, and R, cp 6, the transgene

appears to be inherited in a Mendelian fashion (100 and 90% of the plants had the

















4 5 6 7


28s -

18s -


1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Figure 3-2. Northern Blot Hybridization of R2 generation plants. Ten to 15 pIg of
total RNA from selected non-inoculated R2 plants, a resistant R, generation plant from
line Rj- cp6, a ToMoV infected non-transgenic plant, and a non-transformed non-
inoculated tobacco plant were hybridized with the full length ToMoV coat protein
generated by PCR amplification. A) nylon blot stained with methylene blue showing the
28s and 18s rRNA bands; lane 1 ToMoV infected, non-transformed plant; lane 2 selected
plant from line R2 cp 6 01; lane 3 selected plant from line R2 cp 6 04; lane 4 selected
plant from line R2 cp 6 06; lane 5 selected plant from line R2 cp 6- 08; lane 6 selected
plant from line R2 cp 7 09; lane 7 non-transformed, non-inoculated plant. B)
Hybridization results. Lane 1 ToMoV infected, non-transformed plant; lane 2 selected
plant from line R2 cp 6 01; lane 3 selected plant from line R2 cp 6 04; lane 4 selected
plant from line R2 cp 6 06; lane 5 selected plant from line R2 cp 6- 08; lane 6 selected
plant from line R2 cp 7 09; lane 7 non-transformed, non-inoculated plant


1 2 3


















1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


28s -
18s -


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


I.


Figure 3-4. Northern Blot Hybridization of R2 generation plants. Ten to 15 pIg of
total RNA from selected non-inoculated R2 plants, a resistant R1 generation plant from
line Rj- cp6, a ToMoV infected non-transgenic plant, and a non-transformed non-
inoculated tobacco plant were hybridized with the full length ToMoV coat protein
generated by PCR amplification. A) nylon blot stained with methylene blue showing the
28s and 18s rRNA bands; lanel ToMoV infected, non-transformed plant; lane 2 non-
transformed, non-inoculated plant; lane 3 selected R, generation plant from line Rj- cp6;
lane 4 selected plant from line R2 cp 6 01; lane 5 selected plant from line R2 cp 6 0
4; lane 6 selected plant from line R2 cp 6 08; lane 7 selected plant from line R2 cp 7 -
09; lane 8 selected plant from line R2- cp 10 10. B) Hybridization results. Lanel
ToMoV infected, non-transformed plant; lane 2 non-transformed, non-inoculated plant;
lane 3 selected R, generation plant from line Rj- cp6; lane 4 selected plant from line R2 -
cp 6 01; lane 5 selected plant from line R2- cp 6 0 4; lane 6 selected plant from line R2
- cp 6 08; lane 7 selected plant from line R2 cp 7 09; lane 8 selected plant from line R2
- cp 10 10.















64

transgene, respectively) but only 50% of the progeny from line R, cp 8 had the transgene

(Table 3-1).There are few reports of non- Mendelian inheritance of transgenes

(Matze,1998; Atkingson et al.1998). It has been proposed that

the influence exerted by flanking plant DNA and/or interactions among multiple copies of

closely linked transgenes result in a distortion of the transgene segregation frequencies

(Matze, 1998).

The R2 plants from lines R, cp 6, R, cp 10, and R, cp 11 did not display the

immune and recovery phenotypes observed in R, plants. The resistance in the R2 plants

was expressed as two distinct attenuated phenotypes. A similar phenomenon was reported

by Guo et al. (1998). The R, generation of tobacco plants (Nicotiana benthamiana)

homozygous for a transgene containing fragments of the coat protein and replicase genes

of plum pox potyvirus (PPV) were highly resistant to the infection of PPV. The resistance

was associated to the sole presence of the transgene mRNA. However, the R2 generation

of those plants was fully susceptible to PPV infection. These results may be the result of

differences in transgene dosage or the partial or complete meiotic reversion of a possible

RNA-mediated degradation mechanism.

The breadth of resistance of R, plants transformed with a truncated coat protein of

ToMoV was narrow based on results with three viruses from three different families, one

in Bromoviridae, one in Geminiviriridae one Tobamovirus, and Plants did not show

















resistance to the infection of two RNA viruses (CMV and TMV) or TYLCV. Both

ToMoV and TYLCV are whitefly-transmitted begomoviruses, which are only distantly

related to one another.

Two major phenotypic differences between resistant plants from the R, and R2

generations were observed. The resistance responses in the R, generation plants were

immunity and recovery, whereas attenuation of symptoms was the resistance response

observed in the R2 generation plants In addition, the transgene transcript was detected in

the R, generation plants, it could not be detected in the R2 generation plants. Similarly, it

has been reported that the R, tobacco plants transformed with a mutated replicase gene of

PPV showed recovery from the PPV infection (Guo and Garcia, 1997). The R2 generation

was susceptible to PPV infection, and the transgene mRNA was not detected in those

plants (Guo and Garcia, 1997). The presence of multiple copies of the transgene might

play a role in the suppression of the transgene transcription. Goodwin et al. (1996)

observed that transgenic plants harboring more than 8 copies of the tobacco etch coat

protein gene sequence showed a complete lack of nuclear transcription of the transgene.

The mechanism of the resistance observed in R, and R2 tobacco plants

transformed with a truncated coat protein gene of ToMoV is unclear. Post- transformation















66

mutational events do not seem to be involved in the resistant response, since changes in

the transgene sequence were not observed. The resistance is specific and may be

associated with the level of the transgene transcript.















CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSIONS

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') plants transformed with a truncated coat

protein gene of tomato mottle virus (ToMoV) showed resistance to ToMoV infection.

The R, generation exhibited immunity and recovery phenotypes and the R2 generation

showed symptom attenuation.

The resistant responses were associated with the presence of the transgene. Only

plants carrying the transgene displayed a resistant phenotype, however, some transgenic

plants were susceptible to ToMoV infection. This observation may indicate that the

resistant responses depend not only on the presence of the transgene but also on the

interactions between the transgene and the plant genome.

Types of resistant responses varied among plants in the same germplasm line and

from one generation to the next. Resistant and susceptible phenotypes were observed in

different plants from the same germplasm line. The R2 generation plants did not show the

resistant responses observed in the parental lines but displayed a novel phenotype:

symptom attenuation.

A transgene product could not be detected in any of the resistant transgenic lines

even though the partial sequence of ToMoV coat protein gene was in frame for

expression











of a truncate protein. This observation suggests that the transgene product was not

necessary to elicit the resistant responses.

The transgene transcript was detected in the R, resistant plants suggesting that the

high levels of resistance observed were mediated by the presence of transcript, but a

decrease in the steady state of the transcript was not determined. The transgene transcript

was not detected in R2 plants. These plants showed a lower level of resistance (symptom

attenuation) compared with the resistance displayed by the R, lines. These results suggest

that the presence of the transcript may be necessary to achieve high levels of resistance.

The resistance to ToMoV infection observed in the tobacco plants transformed

with a truncated coat protein gene of ToMoV resembles the RNA-mediated resistance in

several ways. The resistance was correlated with the presence of the transgene transcript

rather than with the expression of the transgene product. The transformed plants showed

high levels of resistance (immunity, recovery, symptom delay), and this resistance was

expressed after a high doses of inoculum (plants were continuously inoculated for 15

days with about 20 to 50 ToMoV viruliferous whiteflies per plant). The breadth of the

resistance was narrow.

In order to determine whether this particular resistance is due to gene silencing, a

special case of RNA-mediated resistance, it will be necessary to establish if the transgene

transcript steady state level decreases overtime, compared with the nuclear rate of

transcription of the transgene. Information about the changes in the cytoplasmic level of

the transcript before and after inoculation in resistant plants could give indirect

information about the involvement of the transgene mRNA in eliciting the resistant









69

responses. Also, a comparison of the steady state levels of the transgene mRNA between

resistant and susceptible plants after inoculation with ToMoV would be another way of

determine changes in the levels of transgene transcript associated to the resistant

responses. It has been proposed that methylation of the promoter and coding regions of

genes results in down regulation of the mRNA steady state levels. To determine if the

transgene has methylated regions can provide additional evidence about the possible

involvement of gene silencing in the resistant responses.

Experiments in which susceptible non-inoculated plants that carry the transgene

are grafted onto resistant transformed plants, that have previously been inoculated with

ToMoV, fallowed by re-inoculation with ToMoV would give information on whether the

resistance is systemically transmissible.

The study of the responses of subsequent generations of transformed plants to

inoculation with ToMoV would provide a better understanding of the stability of the

resistance and the possible use of the transgene as a source of resistance to be

incorporated in a tomato breeding program.

The coat protein gene of ToMoV appears to be a good candidate for the pathogen-

derived resistance approach. The high levels of resistance observed in the R, generation

plants suggest that coat protein genes with truncations at the 5' end can be use to provide

virus resistance in crops that are propagated vegetatively. This strategy could be

particularly useful for crops like cassava. Cassava is a staple food in many third-world

countries, is vegetatively propagated, and its production is severely affected by diseases

caused by geminiviruses. Because the resistance conferred by the truncated transgene











does not involve the production of a protein product, these type of constructs are

specially suited to transformed food crops in situations where consumers have concerns

about eating products containing engineered proteins. Another concern regarding the use

of plants transformed with virus coat protein genes is the risk of transcapsidation .The use

of truncated coat protein genes that confer protection against the virus infection without a

detectable production of the coat protein would be an attractive alternative.

The observation that a truncated coat protein gene confers resistance to virus

infection, suggests that it would be useful to evaluate constructs containing partial

sequences of coat protein genes from different viruses (DNA and/or RNA viruses) that

could result in a resistance with broad spectrum. Also, it would be useful to evaluate

other C terminus truncation and constructs containing hybrids of coat protein and other

viral genes as a mechanism to enhance and stabilize the resistance.















APPENDIX
LABORATORY PROTOCOLS

Genomic DNA extraction

a. Grind 0.2 g of new growth tobacco leaf tissue in liquid nitrogen with 1 ml of extraction

buffer (7 M urea, 0.35 M NaCl, 50 mM Tris (pH 8.0), 20 mM EDTA, 1% Sarkosyl).

b. Transfer the mixture to a 2 ml microcentrifuge tube and extract with lml

phenol/chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (25:24:1). Mix the mixture by inversion for about

2 min. Centrifuge at 3000 x g for 5 min.

c. Transfer the supernatant to a 2 ml microcentrifuge tube and extract with Ivolume

chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (24:1). Mix carefully by inversion for about 2 min.

Centrifuge at 6000 x g for 5 min.

d. Transfer the supernatant to a 2 ml microcentrifuge. Add an equal volume of

isopropanol to the supernatant. Incubate the mixture at -200C for 1 h.

e. Centrifuge at 6000 x g for 20 min, discard the supernatant, and resuspend the pellet in

TE (10 mM Tris-HCl (pH 8.0), ImM EDTA) containing 0.5 %Sarkosyl and 10 [Ig of

RNase I. Incubate at 370C for 30 min.

f. Extract once with 1 volume phenol/chloroform, and once with 1 volume

chloroform/isoamil alcohol 24:1 (v/v). Reprecipitate the DNA by adding 0.1 volume of

3 M sodium acetate and 2.5 volumes of 100 %ethanol.











g. Incubate the mixture at -200C for at least 1 h. Centrifuge at 12 000 x g for 15 min.

Discard the supernatant. Wash the pellet with 70 %ethanol.

h. Centrifuge for 5 min. at maximum speed, dry the pellet and resuspend in 50[ll of

molecular grade water. Store samples at -200C.

Total RNA extraction

a. Previous to extraction keep all mortars, pestles and glassware cold. Use only RNase

free glassware and solutions.

b. Grind 0.2 g of new growth tobacco leaf tissue in liquid nitrogen with 1 ml of extraction

buffer (7 M urea, 0.35 M NaCl, 50 mM Tris (pH 8.0), 20 mM EDTA, 1% Sarkosyl).

c. Transfer the mixture to a 2 ml microcentrifuge tube and extract with 1 volume

phenol/chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (25:24:1). Agitate the mixture vigorously for about 2

min. Centrifuge at 3000 x g for 5 min.

d. Transfer the supernatant to a 2 ml microcentrifuge tube and extract with 1 volume

chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (24:1). Mix vigorously for about 2 min. Centrifuge at 6000 x

g for 5 min.

e. Transfer the supernatant to a 2 ml microcentrifuge. Add an equal volume of

isopropanol. Chill the mixture on ice for 5 min. A dense precipitate will form, allow the

precipitate to sink to the bottom of the tube. Remove the supernatant by transferring it to

a clean microcentrifuge tube.

f. Incubate at -200C for at least 1 h.

g. Pellet RNA by centrifugation at 12000 x g for 15 min.

h. Discard the supernatant. Wash the precipitate with 70 %ethanol.











I. Centrifuge for 5 min. Dry the pellet and resuspend in 50l of molecular grade water.

Store samples at -800C.

Reference:

Cocciolone, S. M., and Cone, K. C. 1993. P1-Bh, an anthocyanin regulatory gene of

maize that leads to variegated pigmentation. Genetics 135:575-588.

Extraction of DNA for PCR amplification

a. Collect samples by pinching leaf disks using the lid of autoclaved 1.5 [1l

microcentrifuge tubes.

b. Add 500 pA of Doyle and Doyle buffer (100 mM Tris-HCL, 1.4 M NaCl, 20 mM

EDTA, 2 % CTAB, 0.2 % 2-mercaptoethanol, 1 %PVP). Grind the tissue inside the tube

using the appropriate pestles.

c. Incubate the samples in a water bath at 650C for 30 min.

d. Extract with 1 volume chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (24:1). Mix vigorously by

vortexing. Centrifuge at 10000 x g for 5 min. Transfer the aqueous phase to a new tube.

e. Add an equal volume of isopropanol. Mix by inversion several times. Centrifuge at

10000 x g for 15 min.

f. Discard the supernatant. Wash the pellet with 70 % ethanol. Centrifuge at 10000 x g for

5 min. Dry the pellet and resuspend in 50 [1l of sterile water. Store at 40C (short term

storage) or at -200C (long term storage).











PCR amplification of the transgene

a. Determine the number of samples to be tested and prepare the PCR mix (50p1l per

sample) as follow:

TAQ buffer 10 x 5 pll

Magnesium Chloride 25 mM 5 pil

Spermidine 1 pl1

dNTP mix 10 mM 1 p11

Primer EH 28 50 pM 1 pl1

Primer EH 82 50 pM 1 pl1

Distilled autoclaved water 32.8 pil

TAQ enzyme ~ 20 U/ pl 0.2 pil



Thermophilic DNA polymerase (TAQ) buffer is made up of 10 mM Tris-HCL (pH 9.0),

50 mM KCL and 0.1 %triton X-100.

Primer JAP 28 : 5'-GATAGTGGAAAAGGAAGG-3'

Primer JAP 82 : 5'-CCTTACCGATATGTGA-3'

Primers JAP 28 and JAP 82 amplify a 400 bp fragment that contain the CaMV 35S

promoter sequence, CMV leader region, and the 5' end of ToMoV modified coat protein

gene.

b. Label the appropriate 0.5 pll tubes, keep them on ice and add the DNA extract.

c. Add the PCR mix to each tube and spin briefly in the microcentrifuge.

d. Set tubes in the thermal cycler (GeneAmp PCR system 9700) and run the program:











940C for 2 min., 35 cycles of 940C for 30 sec., 55C for 35 sec., 720C for 1 min. 15 sec.

adding two seconds every cycle to the elongation time (1:15), ending with 720C for 7 min.

e. Determine the presence of the 400 bp PCR products by loading 10 pll of every

sample on a 1.2 % agarose gel. Stain with ethidium bromide. Photograph the stained

gel.

f. PCR products can be storage at 4 C (short term storage) or -200C (long term storage).

Reference:

Mullis, K. B., and Faloona, F. A. 1987. Specific synthesis of DNA in vitro via a

polymerase-catalyzed chain reaction. Methods Enzymol.155: 335 350.

PCR amplification of ToMoV coat protein gene

a. Determine the number of samples to be tested and prepare the PCR mix (50[ll per

sample) as follow:

TAQ buffer 10 x 5 pl

Magnesium Chloride 25 mM 5 pil

Spermidine 1 pl1

dNTP mix 10 mM 1 pl1

Primer EH 28 50 pM 1 pl1

Primer EH 82 50 pM 1 pl1

Distilled autoclaved water 32.8 pil

TAQ enzyme ~ 20 U/ pl 0.2 pl











Thermophilic DNA polymerase (TAQ) buffer is made up of 10 mM Tris-HCL (pH 9.0),

50 mM KCL and 0.1 %triton X-100.

Primer JAP 289 5'-GCCTTCTCAAACTTGCTCATTCAAT-3'

Primer JAP 290 5'-GTTCGCAACAAACAGAGTGTAT-3'

Primers JAP 289 and JAP 290 amplified the complete wild type ToMoV coat protein

gene.

b. Label the appropriate 0.5 |[l tubes, keep them on ice and add the DNA extract.

c. Add the PCR mix to each tube and spin briefly in the microcentrifuge.

d. Set tubes in the thermal cycler (GeneAmp PCR system 9700) and run the program:

940C for 2 min., 35 cycles of 940C for 30 sec., 55C for 35 sec., 720C for 1 min. 15 sec.

adding two seconds every cycle to the elongation time (1:15), ending

720C for 7 min.

e. Determine the presence of the 1100 bp PCR products by loading 10 pll of every

sample on a 1.2 % agarose gel. Stain with ethidium bromide. Photograph the stained

gel.

f. PCR products can be storage at 40C (short term storage) or 200C (long term storage).

Southern blot analysis of the transgene

Sample preparation

a. Digest 10 [Ig of genomic DNA with Eco RI and Xba I at 37C overnight.

b. Extract once with 1 volume phenol/chloroform and once 1 volume with

chloroform/isoamil alcohol (24:1). Precipitate the DNA by adding 0.1 volume of 3 M

sodium acetate and 2.5 volumes of 100 %ethanol.











g. Incubate the mixture at -200C for at least 1 h. Centrifuge at 12000 x g for 15 min.

Discard the supernatant. Wash the pellet with 70 % ethanol.

h. Centrifuge for 5 min. at maximum speed, dry the pellet, and resuspend it in 30[ll of

molecular grade water.

i. Separate the samples by electrophoresis on a 0.75 % agarose gel prepared with 0.5 x

TBE buffer (45 mM tris-borate, 1 mM EDTA) Run the gel at 25 V for 16 h.

j. Stain the gel in TBE-ethidium bromide. Establish the efficiency of the digestion and

the adequate separation of the DNA fragments.



Transfer of denatured DNA to a nylon membrane

a. Place the gel in 0.125 M HCL so that the gel is completely covered. Agitate gently for

ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse the gel with distilled water.

b. Set up a capillary transfer using 0.4 M NaOH as transfer buffer. Use the positively

charged nylon membrane Bioblot-NPlus,(Costar Scientific Corp., Cambridge, MA)

c. When the transfer is completed UV crosslink the blot while damp.

Hybridization

a. Prepare the hybridization probe by biotin labeling the 400 bp PCR product that contain

the CaMV 35S promoter sequence, CMV leader region, and the 5' end ToMoV

modified coat protein gene, using Tropix random octamer labeling system (Tropix,

Bedford, MA). Follow the instructions provided with the labeling kit.

b. Prehybridize the blot by placing the blot in a hybridization bottle with 50 to 100 ml









78

of hybridization buffer (1 mM EDTA, 7 % SDS, 0.25 % M Disodium Phosphate, pH

7.2). Incubate for 1 h at 650C with gentle rotatory agitation.

c. Denature the probe by boiling it for 10 min and placing it on ice.

d. Dilute heat denaturated probe in 8 to 15 ml hybridization buffer. Incubate overnight at

650C.

e. Wash the membrane with high astringency washes:

Wash 2 times at room temperature with 2x SSC (3.75 M Sodium Chloride, 375 mM

Sodium Citrate dehydrated), 1 % SDS, for 5 min.

Wash 2 times at 650C with 0.1 x SSC, 1% SDS, for 15 min.

Wash 2 times at room temperature with lx SSC, for 5 min.

4. Chemiluminescence detection

a. Use the Tropix Southern-Sia/ (i chemiluminescent Detection System (Tropix,

Bedford, MA) For Biotin-labeled Probes. Follow the instructions provided with the kit.

Imaging

a. Place the blot in direct contact with X-ray film for different times (1 to 30 min).

Develop the X-ray film. Choose the exposure that gives the highest signal to noise

ratio to read the results.

Northern blot analysis of the transgene transcript

Sample preparation

a. Add 3 x FF buffer (0.5 ml Formamide, 184 pl Formaldehyde, 100 pl MOPS) to 15 [ig

of total RNA. Incubate at 650C for 15 min. Place the samples on ice and add 2 pll of

BPB (0.5 % Bromophenol blue in RNase free water).











b. Separate the samples by electrophoresis on a 1.2 % denaturating gel (1.2 %

agarose, 1 x MOPS, 2.2 M Formaldehyde) at 25 V between 3 to 6 h. until the dye

reaches 2/3 of the length of the gel.

Transfer of RNA to a nylon membrane

a. Place the gel in 10 x SSC for 30 min. with continuous gentle agitation.

b. Set up a capillary transfer using 10 x SSC as transfer buffer. Use the positively charge

membrane Hybond-N (Amershan Pharmacia biotech, Buckinghamshire, UK).

c. When the transfer is completed, UV crosslink the membrane while damp.

d. Stain the blot with methylene blue (10 mg methylene blue, 50 mM Sodium Acetate)

for 15 min or until the rRNA appear. Photograph the blot. De-stain with RNase free

water.

Hybridization

a. Prepare the hybridization probe by biotin labeling the full length ToMoV coat protein

gene DNA fragment generated by PCR amplification. Use the Tropix random octamer

labeling system (Tropix, Bedford, MA). Follow the instructions provided with the

labeling kit.

b. Prehybridize the blot by placing the blot in a hybridization bottle with 50 to 100 ml of

hybridization buffer (1 mM EDTA, 7 % SDS, 0.25 % M Disodium Phosphate, pH

7.2). Incubate for 1 h at 650C with gentle rotatory agitation.

c. Denature the probe by boiling it for 10 min and placing it on ice immediately.

d. Dilute the denaturated probe in 8 to 15 ml hybridization buffer. Incubate overnight at

650C.











e. Wash the membrane with high astringency washes:

Wash 2 times at room temperature with 2x SSC (3.75 M Sodium Chloride, 0.375 M

Sodium Citrate dehydrated), 1 % SDS, for 5 min.

Wash 2 times at 65 C with 0.1 x SSC, 1% SDS, for 15 min.

Wash 2 times at room temperature with lx SSC, for 5 min

Chemiluminescence detection

a. Use the Tropix Southern-Sia/ (i chemiluminescent Detection System (Tropix,

Bedford, MA) For Biotin-labeled Probes. Follow the instructions provided with the kit.

Imaging

a. Place the blot in direct contact with X-ray film for different times (1 to 30 min).

Develop the X-ray film. Choose the exposure that gives the highest signal to noise

ratio to read the results.

Protein blot analysis

Sample preparation

a. In a mortar, grind 0.5 g of tissue in 1.0 ml NaPO4 pH 7.0

b. Express through wetted cheesecloth into an appropriate container. Transfer 200 l11 of

the aqueous phase to a microcentrifuge tube and dilute with 1 volume of LDS (0.25 M

Tris-HCL (pH 6.8), 2 % Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS), 4 % 2-Mercapto-ethanol, 10

%Sucrose).

c. Boil the extracts for 2 min.

d. Centrifuge at 12000 x g for 5 min. Transfer the supernatant to a clean microcentrifuge

tube. and keep samples refrigerated (40C)











Electrophoresis

a. Prepare a 10% resolving acrylamide gel and a 5.6 % stacking gel as follow:

Resolving 10 % acrylamide gel:

SDS 52.5 pl

acrylamide\bis-acrilamide (30 : 0.8) 1.75 ml

1 M Tris-HCI (pH 8.8) 1.94 ml

Water 1.51 ml

TEMED 4.125 pl

Ammonium Persulfate 10 % 69 pil

Stacking 5.6 % acrylamide gel:

SDS 35 pl

acrylamide\bis-acrilamide (30 : 0.8) 0.65 ml

1 M Tris-HCI (pH 6.8) 0.36 ml

Water 2.45 ml

Bromophenol blue 0.1 % 100 pl1

TEMED 4.5 pl

Ammonium Persulfate 10 % 58 pil

Remember to prepare both solutions at the same time without TEMED and

Ammonium Persulfate. Both have to be added right before the mixes are put into the

glass sandwich.

b. Assemble the electrophoresis unit (Bio-Rad Mini Protean II), and prepare the glass

sandwich.









82

c. When the electrophoresis unit is set up add TEMED and Ammonium Persulfate to the

mix. Mix the solution gently and pour it into the glass sandwich using a Pasteur

pipette. Add a thin layer of water and wait 20 to 30 min. until the acrylamide

polimerizes.

d. Remove the water from the interface and pour the stacking gel solution, place the

comb and wait 10 to 15 min. until the acrylamide polimerizes.

e. Fill the elctrophoresis chamber with 500 ml of Laemmli running buffer (12.5 mM Tris,

96 mM Glycine, 0.05 % SDS, adjust pH to 8.3).

f. Load the samples, and then run the electrophoresis at 125 to 150 V constant voltage.

Stop the gel when the dye reaches the bottom.

Transfer

After protein are separated in the gel, they have to be transferred onto nitrocellulose

membrane by electro-transfer.

a. Remove the gel from the glass sandwich and place the nitrocellulose membrane (0.45

[1m) (Amershan Pharmacia biotech, UK) on top of it avoiding the presence of bubbles

between the two surfaces.

b. Assemble the transfer unit (Bio-Rad Mini Trans-Blot Electrophoretic Cell). Fill the

chamber with chilled transfer buffer (25 mM Tris, 192 mM Glycine, 20 % Ethanol).

Run the transfer at 100 V constant voltage for 1 h. Keep the unit cool.

c. After the transfer is completed remove the blotted membrane and rinse it with 1 x

TBST (0.1 M Tris, 0.75 M NaCl, 0.25 % Tween 20(pH 7.2)), three times for 5 min.











Serological detection of the coat protein

a. Incubate the blot in primary antibody # 3F7 (3F7 is a murine monoclonal antiserum

made against a mixture of purified virions of bean golden mosaic virus isolates from

Guatemala and Dominican Republic, which efficiently recognizes ToMoV) or

antiserum # 1175 (1175 is a polyclonal antiserum made against the truncated coat

protein of ToMoV) diluted 1: 500 in 10 ml of blotto (5 % powdered skim milk

dissolved in 1 x TBST) for 1 h. with continuous gentle agitation.

b. Wash with 10 ml of 1 x TBST 3 times for 5 min. with continuous gentle agitation.

c. Incubate the blot in conjugated antibody (goat anti-mouse conjugate when the

monoclonal antiserum 3F7 is used or goat anti-rabbit conjugate when the polyclonal

antiserum 1175 is used) diluted 1:10000 in blotto at room temperature for 1 h.

d. Wash with 10 ml of 1 x TBST 2 times for 5 min. with continuous gentle agitation.

e. Wash with 10 ml of substrate buffer ( 0.1 M Tris, 0.1 M NaCl pH 9.5) for 5 min. with

continuous gentle agitation.

d. Incubate in 10 ml of freshly prepared developing solution (75 mg/ml NBT, 50 mg/ml

BCIP, 2 M MgCl2) for 5 to 30 min. The incubation must be conducted in the dark.

Check for the development of a purple band of about 29 Kd every few minutes.

e. When the bands reach the desire color intensity stop the reaction by draining the

developing solution and replacing it with distilled water.

f. Blots can be store dry and protected from the light.

ELISA for ToMoV detection











a. Coat the ELISA plate. Dilute antiserum # 1110 (1110 is a broad spectrum rabbit

antiserum made against macroptilium geminivirus) at 1:1000 dilution in coating buffer

(34 mM Sodium Bicarbonate, 15 mM Sodium Carbonate, pH 9.6). Add 100 Ill per

well. Incubate at 40C overnight or at 37 C for 2h.

b. Wash the plate carefully 3 times for 5 min. with PBST (0.136 M Sodium

chloride, 8 mM Sodium Phosphate dibasic, 1.4 mM Potassium Phosphate, 2.6 mM

Potassium Chloride, 0.5 % Tween 20).

c. Squeeze sap out of symptomatic leaves. Dilute the sap 1:5 in PB S. Add 100 pll of

each sample to the wells, every sample should be done in triplicate. Incubate at 4C

overnight or at room temperature for 2 h.

d. Wash the plate 5 times for 5 min. with PBST making sure that all plant debris are

removed.

e. Add 100 pl1 of the secondary 3F7 monoclonal antiserum diluted 1:10000 in PBS to

each well. Incubate overnight at 40C.

f. Wash the plate 3 times for 5 min. with PBST.

g. Add 100 pll of Anti-mouse IgG conjugated with alkaline phosphatase (Sigma

Chemicals, Mo) diluted 1:30.000 in conjugate buffer (0.2 % BSA, 2 % PVP- 40, PBST

1000 ml). Incubate at room temperature for 2 h.

h. Wash the plate 3 times for 5 min. with PBST.

i. Add 150 pl of substrate (Img/ml, p-Nitrophenyl Disodium Phosphate) in substrate

buffer (9.7% Diethanolamine) to each well. Incubated at room temperature in the dark.

A bright yellow color will develop when the reaction is positive.

















j. Record absorbency readings at 405 nm every 15 min. for 2 h.

ELISA for CMV and TMV detection

Follow the protocol described for ToMoV with the following modifications:

a. Coat the ELISA plate with polyclonal antiserum prepare against CMV or TMV

(AGDIA, IN, USA) diluted 1: 750 in coating buffer.

b. Use as secondary antibody polyclonal antisera made against CMV or TMV conjugated

with peroxidase. The conjugate antisera must be diluted 1 : 250 in conjugate buffer

(MRS component diluted 1: 5 in PBS). Add 100 pll in each well. Incubate at room

temperature for 2 h.

c. Wash the plate 3 times for 5 min. with PBST.

d. Add 100 pll of substrate solution (o- Phenilenediamine Dihidrochloride lmg/ml,

30 % Hydrogen Peroxide 0.40 / 1000 ml, Sodium Phosphate dibasic 7.33 g/ 1000ml,

Citric acid anhydrous 4.66 g / 1000 ml, adjust pH to 5.0) to each well. Incubated at

room temperature in the dark. A dark orange color will develop in the positive

samples.

e. Record absorbency readings at 490 nm every 15 min. for 2 h.









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