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In Vitro Translation of the Full-Length RNA Transcript of Figwort Mosaic Virus (Caulimovirus)

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The circular DNA genome of FMV consists of seven tandemly arranged genes placed successively on a full-length RNA transcript that spans the entire circular viral genome. This transcript is a tentative mRNA for at least five of the six major conserved genes of this virus (genes I-V) that are positioned on this transcript. The sixth major gene (gene VI) is expressed as a separate monocistronic transcript. A long 5′-nontranslated leader (598 nucleotides), a small nonconserved gene (VII), and a short intergenic region (57 nucleotides) precede the five major conserved genes (I through V) on the full-length transcript. A reporter gene (CAT), as a separate cistron or fused in-frame, to viral cistrons in various downstream positions in cloned versions of the viral genome was used in a transcription vector to generate artificial full-length transcripts of FMV. When these mRNAs were translated in vitro (rabbit reticulocyte lysate system), the reporter gene was translated efficiently in all positions. Translation of internal native viral gene positioned on the full-length transcript of FMV was also determined (the gene VI product). These observations suggest that the full-length FMV transcript functions as a polycistronic mRNA in plants. Results are best explained on the basis of translational coupling/relay race model.
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Keywords: Figwort mosaic virus (FMV); In vitro translation; Polycistronic mRNA; Reticulocyte lysates

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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