Cell-to-cell movement of the PVX 12K, 8K, or coat proteins may depend on the host, leaf developmental stage, and the PVX 25K protein.
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The requirements for intercellular movement of Potato virus X (PVX) 12K, 8K, and coat proteins (CP) differed in two Nicotiana spp. Plasmids containing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene fused to PVX 12K, 8K, or CP genes were bombarded to tobacco leaves. Protein movement was observed in N. benthamiana but not N. tabacum leaves. GFP:12K and GFP:8K moved cell-to-cell in 25K-expressing transgenic N. tabacum source but not sink leaves. In N. tabacum, GFP:12K and GFP:8K intercellular movement depends on the 25K and leaf developmental stage. Leaves were bombarded using two biolistic delivery methods and the results were similar indicating that movement of GFP:12K or GFP:8K is independent of the delivery system. Mutations in 12K, 8K, and CP genes within the PVX genome inhibited viral intercellular movement in both Nicotiana spp. Thus plasmodesmata gating is not an essential function of these proteins for virus cell-to-cell movement. These proteins likely provide additional activities for virus cell-to-cell movement.