Microprojectile bombardment was used to examine the transport function of the 25 kDa movement protein (MP) encoded in the triple gene block of potato virus X (PVX). A 25 kDa MP-defective full-length cloned PVX genome carrying a beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene was co-bombarded with 35S promoter constructs containing either the 25 kDa MP gene of wild-type PVX, the MP gene of either of two tobamoviruses (tomato mosaic virus or crucifer tobamovirus), red clover necrotic mosaic dianthovirus (RCNMV) or brome mosaic bromovirus (BMV). When inoculated alone, the MP-defective PVX was unable to move out of the inoculated cell, as visualized by in situ staining for GUS activity. However, cell-to-cell movement of the mutant PVX genome was restored by co-inoculation with 35S constructs containing the MP cDNA of PVX, either tobamovirus or RCNMV. The BMV MP construct did not complement movement of the defective PVX. These results show that co-bombardment of cDNA of an MP-defective virus with plasmids designed to express MP of other viruses could be used as a fast and simple method for transcomplementation experiments.


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