Location: Cereal Crops ResearchTitle: Coat protein expression strategy of oat blue dwarf virus
Submitted to: Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2013
Publication Date: 2/1/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58516
Citation: Edwards, M.C., Weiland, J.J. 2014. Coat protein expression strategy of oat blue dwarf virus. Virology. 450-451:290-296.
Interpretive Summary: Many viruses infect plants and cause diseases affecting a wide range of crops. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to control virus diseases of plants. To develop and improve control measures over the long term, there is a need to better understand how viruses function and cause disease. Sequence data have helped improve our understanding of virus genetics, but we also need to understand how viral genomes are expressed. In this paper, we have taken initial steps to better understand how one virus, oat blue dwarf virus, expresses its protective coat proteins. Since the coat proteins may play a key role in transmission of the virus by leafhoppers, this information will assist us in further research to better understand how and why this virus and other similar ones are transmitted by leafhoppers, while other viruses are not.
Technical Abstract: Sequence data are available for multiple members of the genus Marafivirus, yet the expression strategy of these viruses remains uncharacterized. The oat blue dwarf virus (OBDV) genome encodes a 227 kDa polyprotein (p227) thought to be post-translationally processed into its functional components. OBDV coat protein (CP) ORFs are encoded near the 3’ terminus and are coterminal with the p227 ORF. Although a marafibox serves as a putative promoter for a subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) encoding the CPs, the CP expression strategy has not been thoroughly investigated. We developed a series of point and deletion mutants in the CP encoding gene using an infectious OBDV clone. Results support a model in which the 21 kDa CP is the product of direct translation of a sgRNA, while the 24 kDa CP is a cleavage product derived from both the polyprotein and a larger approximately 26 kDa precursor translated directly from the sgRNA.