Transgenic Samsun NN tobacco plants expressing the coat protein of tobacco rattle virus were exposed to mechanical leaf inoculation with tobacco rattle virus and to viruliferous trichodorid vector nematodes. Whereas plants were resistant to mechanical inoculation the vector nematodes successfully transmitted tobacco rattle virus to the roots as well as to the leaves of these plants. It is suggested that transgenic resistance is overcome either because vector nematodes inject relatively large numbers of virus particles into a cell or because they inject destabilized particles. The results indicate that coat protein-mediated resistance is unlikely to be of value for controlling tobacco rattle virus in field crops.


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