Requirement of gene VII in cis for the expression of downstream genes on the major transcript of figwort mosaic virus. Academic Article uri icon


  • The six major conserved genes of figwort mosaic virus (FMV), a caulimovirus, appear in tandem array on an RNA transcript that spans the entire viral genome. Gene VI, the only cistron that appears as a separate subgenomic RNA, has been reported to transactivate the expression of downstream genes of the full-length transcript. This transcript has a long 5'-leader of about 600 nucleotides followed by a small nonconserved region (gene VII), a smaller intergenic region (57 nucleotides), and the major conserved genes in a closely spaced array. In our present experiments we have constructed expression units containing the promoter for the full-length transcript followed by the 5' leader region, gene VII, and a reporter gene. These have been tested for expression with and without gene VI as a separate plasmid by electroporation into plant protoplasts. A series of these expression units containing truncated versions of the 5' leader region placed upstream of a reporter gene (CAT) showed that gene VI transactivation occurred only when gene VII sequences were present in cis between the leader region and the reporter gene. In addition, a more complete version of the FMV genome containing the reporter gene further downstream (in viral gene IV) showed CAT expression only when gene VII sequences were present in an upstream position. A similar construct failed to express CAT activity when gene VII was absent.

published proceedings

  • Virology

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

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

publication date

  • December 1991