Analysis of the nucleocapsid protein gene from Tomato spotted wilt virus as target and inducer for posttranscriptional gene silencing

Shoji Sonoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Nicotiana benthamiana was transformed with the nucleocapsid protein (N) gene of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). Out of 17 transgenic lines regenerated, 6 showed virus resistance against TSWV and recombinant Potato virus X containing the N gene (PVX.N) and accumulated relatively low steady-state levels of mRNA of the N transgene, suggesting that the resistance was manifested by a posttranscriptional gene silencing. The targets for RNA degradation in the resistant lines were mainly concentrated in the 3′ portion. Non-transgenic N. benthamiana infected with PVX.N showed resistance to TSWV. On the other hand, no resistance to TSWV was observed in plants infected with PVX containing a sequence non-homologous to TSWV. These results suggest that the protection was RNA-mediated. Both 5′ and 3′ portions of the N gene were shown to be efficient inducers for the RNA-mediated cross-protection. When a non-silenced line was inoculated with recombinant PVX containing various regions of the N gene, virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of the N transgene mRNA was observed. Furthermore, it was shown that the 5′ portion of the N gene induced VIGS more efficiently than the 3′ portion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-725
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003



  • Cross-protection
  • Gene silencing
  • Nicotiana benthamiana
  • Tomato spotted wilt virus
  • Virus resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology

Cite this