Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) raised against the coat protein of zucchini yellow mosaic potyvirus (ZYMV) were characterized by epitope mapping using synthetic oligopeptides. Two mutant viruses with a mutation in the amino acid sequence important for epitope recognition in vitro were obtained by site-directed mutagenesis of a full-length cDNA of ZYMV. Two MAbs, CC11 and DD2, could distinguish specifically between these mutants in mixed infections, or after sequential inoculations of muskmelons. Sequential inoculations of the mutants and analysis with MAbs CC11 and DD2 revealed that cross-protection was established between these quasi-isogenic strains within 48 h.


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