Cucumber mosaic virus movement protein affects sugar metabolism and transport in tobacco and melon plants

D. Shalitin, Y. Wang, A. Omid, A. Gal-On, S. Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In addition to its influence on plasmodesmal function, tobacco mosaic virus movement protein (TMV-MP) causes an alteration in carbon metabolism in source leaves and in resource partitioning among the various plant organs. The present study was aimed at characterizing the influence of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)-MP on carbohydrate metabolism and transport in both tobacco and melon plants. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing the CMV-MP had reduced levels of soluble sugars and starch in their source leaves and a significantly reduced root-to-shoot ratio in comparison with control plants. A novel virus-vector system was employed to express the CMV-coat protein (CP), the CMV-MP or the TMV-MP in melon plants. This set of experiments indicated that the viral MPs cause a significant elevation in the proportion of sucrose in the phloem sap collected from petioles of source leaves, whereas this sugar was at very low levels or even absent from the sap of control melon plants. The mode by which the CMV-MP exerts its effect on phloem-sap sugar composition is discussed in terms of possible alterations in the mechanism of phloem loading.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)989-997
Number of pages9
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002


  • Biomass partitioning
  • Cucumber mosaic virus
  • Melon (Cucumis melo L.)
  • Movement protein
  • Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.)
  • Transgenic plants


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