The full-length transcript of a caulimovirus is a polycistronic mRNA whose genes are trans activated by the product of gene VI. Academic Article uri icon


  • Gene expression of figwort mosaic virus (FMV), a caulimovirus, was investigated by electroporation of Nicotiana edwardsonii cell suspension protoplasts with cloned viral constructs in which a reporter gene was inserted at various positions on the genome. The results showed that the genome of FMV contains two promoters; one is used for the production of a full-length RNA and another initiates synthesis of a separate monocistronic RNA for gene VI. Evidence is provided that the full-length transcript, the probable template for reverse transcription, can serve as a polycistronic mRNA for translation of genes I through V and perhaps also gene VI. Expression of all the genes on the polycistronic mRNA is trans activated by the gene VI protein. Reporter gene expression appears most efficient when its start codon is in close proximity to the stop codon of the preceding gene, as for the native genes of caulimoviruses. We propose that the gene VI product enables expression of the polycistronic mRNA by promoting reinitiation of ribosomes to give translational coupling of individual genes.

published proceedings

  • J Virol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Scholthof, H. B., Gowda, S., Wu, F. C., & Shepherd, R. J.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Scholthof, HB||Gowda, S||Wu, FC||Shepherd, RJ

publication date

  • May 1992