Resistance to tomato yellow leaf curl geminivirus in Nicotiana benthamiana plants transformed with a truncated viral C1 gene

E. Noris, G.P. Accotto, R. Tavazza, A. Brunetti, S. Crespi, M. Tavazza

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The C1 gene of tomato yellow leaf curl geminivirus (TYLCV) encodes a multifunctional protein (Rep) involved in replication. A truncated form of this gene, capable of expressing the N-terminal 210 amino acids (aa) of the Rep protein, was cloned under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter and introduced into Nicotiana benthamiana using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The same sequence was also cloned in antisense orientation. When self-pollinated progeny of 19 primary transformants were tested for resistance to TYLCV by agroinoculation, some plants proved to be resistant, particularly in the sense lines. Two such lines were further studied. The presence of the transgene was verified and its expression was followed at intervals. All plants that were resistant to TYLCV at 4 weeks postinoculation (wpi) contained detectable amounts of transgenic mRNA and protein at the time of infection. Resistance was overcome in a few plants at 9 wpi, and in most at 15 wpi. Infection of leaf discs derived from transgenic plants showed that expression of the transgene correlated with a substantial reduction of viral DNA replication. Cotransfections of tobacco protoplasts demonstrated that inhibition of viral DNA replication requires expression of the truncated Rep protein and suggested that the small ORF C4, also present in our construct, plays no role in the resistance observed. The results obtained using both transient and stable gene expression systems show that the expression of the N-terminal 210 aa of the TYLCV Rep protein efficiently interferes with virus infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130 - 138
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology

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