Tissue-specific expression of the tobacco mosaic virus movement protein in transgenic potato plants alters plasmodesmal function and carbohydrate partitioning

Amnon A. Olesinski, Einat Almon, Nir Navot, Avihai Perl, Esra Galun, William J. Lucas, Shmuel Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants expressing the movement protein (MP) of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) under the control of the promoters from the class 1 patatin gene (B33) or the nuclear photosynthesis gene (ST-LS1) were employed to further explore the mode by which this viral protein interacts with cellular metabolism to change carbohydrate allocation. Dye-coupling experiments established that expression of the TMV-MP alters plasmodesmal function in both potato leaves and tubers when expressed in the respective tissues. However, whereas the size-exclusion limit of mesophyll plasmodesmata was increased to a value greater than 9.4 kD, this size limit was smaller for plasmodesmata interconnecting tuber parenchyma cells. Starch and sugars accumulated in potato leaves to significantly lower levels in plants expressing the TMV-MP under the ST-LS1 promoter, and rate of sucrose efflux from petioles of the latter was higher compared to controls. It is interesting that this effect was expressed only in mature plants after tuber initiation. No effect on carbohydrate levels was found in plants expressing this protein under the B33 promoter. These results are discussed in terms of the mode by which the TMV-MP exerts its influence over carbon metabolism and photoassimilate translocation, and the possible role of plasmodesmal function in controlling these processes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1996

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