The genes encoding the helper component (HC) proteins of two strains of (PVY) were cloned and the proteins expressed from a vector derived from (PVX). The expressed HC contained six N-terminal histidine residues to facilitate purification by metal affinity chromatography. Approximately 2–4 μg/g of purified HC was obtained from leaves of plants systemically infected by recombinant PVX. Preparations of the HC protein derived from PVY ordinary strain (PVY) assisted aphid transmission of purified particles of PVY and PVY strain C (PVY; a naturally occurring non-aphid transmissible strain of PVY which contains a defective HC), as well as . The HC derived from PVY contained the Glu-Ile-Thr-Cys (EITC) motif, and mutation of Glu (E) to Lys (K) enabled the mutant PVX-expressed preparations to assist virus transmission by aphids. Expression of HC protein from the PVX vector produced biologically active protein. This approach should facilitate further studies to elucidate more precisely the molecular mechanism of virus transmission by aphids.


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