Young leaves of tobacco, systemically infected by tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV), were examined for the presence and distribution of four virus encoded proteins [capsid, cytoplasmic inclusion (CI) and two nuclear inclusion (NI) proteins] at various time periods after inoculation of expanded leaves of the plants. The analyses were carried out by ELISA and by immunogold electron microscopy of thin sections of the leaves. All four proteins were detected simultaneously in the systemic leaves for the first time on the fifth day after inoculation of the expanded leaves. All four proteins increased in concentration until the seventh day and then showed no further increase with the exception of the capsid protein which continued to accumulate. The CI protein was first detected in association with the plasmalemma/cell wall and was subsequently found mostly in the form of pinwheels in the cytoplasm. The two NI proteins were found at all times after infection within the nucleus, although small concentrations were detected in the cytoplasm. These experiments suggest that both the NIa and NIb proteins are transported into the nucleus immediately after synthesis. At the earliest time periods after infection, high concentrations of these proteins (NIa and NIb) were found in their noninclusion form in the nucleolus. At 14 days after infection, both proteins were found only as inclusions in the nucleus. The capsid protein was found at all stages of infection only in the cytoplasm.


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