Four biologically active cDNA clones were derived from the Alternanthera mosaic virus (AltMV; genus ) isolate, AltMV-SP, which differ in symptoms in infected plants. Two clones induced necrosis and plant death; a mixture of all four clones induced milder symptoms than AltMV-SP. Replication of all clones was enhanced by a minimum of fourfold at 15 °C. A mixture of clones 4-7 (severe) and 3-1 (mild) was indistinguishable from AltMV-SP, but the ratio of 4-7 to 3-1 differed at 25 and 15 °C. RNA copy numbers of mixed infections were always below those of 4-7 alone. Determinants of symptom severity were identified in both Pol and TGB1; the mildest (4-1) and most severe (3-7) clones differed at three residues in the ‘core’ Pol domain [R(1110)P, K(1121)R, R(1255)K] and one [S(1535)P] in the C-terminal Pol domain of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and one in TGB1 [P(88)L]. Pol [P,R,K]+TGB1] always induced systemic necrosis at 15 °C. Gene exchanges of Pol and TGB1 each affected replication and symptom expression, with TGB1 significantly reducing silencing suppression. The difference in silencing suppression between TGB1 and TGB1 was confirmed by an agroinfiltration assay. Further, co-expression of TGB1 and TGB1 resulted in interference in the suppression of silencing by TGB1. Yeast two-hybrid analysis confirmed that TGB1 and TGB1 interact. These results identify a TGB1 residue that significantly affects replication and silencing suppression, but maintains full movement functions.


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