Construction of a Sonchus yellow net Virus minireplicon: A step toward reverse genetic analysis of plant negative-strand RNA viruses

Uma Ganesan, Jennifer N. Bragg, Min Deng, Sharon Marr, Mi Yeon Lee, Sha Sha Qian, Manling Shi, Justin Kappel, Cole Peters, Yeon Lee, Michael M. Goodin, Ralf G. Dietzgen, Zhenghe Li, Andrew O. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Reverse genetic analyses of negative-strand RNA (NSR) viruses have provided enormous advances in our understanding of animal viruses over the past 20 years, but technical difficulties have hampered application to plant NSR viruses. To develop a reverse genetic approach for analysis of plant NSR viruses, we have engineered Sonchus yellow net nucleorhabdovirus (SYNV) minireplicon (MR) reporter cassettes for Agrobacterium tumefaciens expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Fluorescent reporter genes substituted for the SYNV N and P protein open reading frames (ORFs) exhibited intense single-cell foci throughout regions of infiltrated leaves expressing the SYNV MR derivatives and the SYNV nucleocapsid (N), phosphoprotein (P), and polymerase (L) proteins. Genomic RNA and mRNA transcription was detected for reporter genes substituted for both the SYNV N and P ORFs. These activities required expression of the N, P, and L core proteins in trans and were enhanced by codelivery of viral suppressor proteins that interfere with host RNA silencing. As is the case with other members of the Mononegavirales, we detected polar expression of fluorescent proteins and chloramphenicol acetyltransferase substitutions for the N and P protein ORFs. We also demonstrated the utility of the SYNV MR system for functional analysis of SYNV core proteins in trans and the cis-acting leader and trailer sequence requirements for transcription and replication. This work provides a platform for construction of more complex SYNV reverse genetic derivatives and presents a general strategy for reverse genetic applications with other plant NSR viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10598-10611
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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