Pathogen-derived resistance to Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) in transgenic Mexican lime (Citrus aurantifolia (Christ.) Swing.) plants expressing its p25 coat protein gene
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The p25 coat protein (CP) gene of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) was incorporated to Mexican lime plants and forty-two transgenic lines were produced, 25 containing the p25 CP gene of the severe CTV strain T-305 and 17 with that of the mild strain T-317. When plants propagated from each transgenic line were graft-inoculated with CTV T-305 or aphidinoculated with T-300, two types of response to viral challenge were observed: some lines developed CTV symptoms similar to those of non-transgenic controls, whereas others exhibited protection against the virus. This protection consisted of a proportion of plants, ranging from 10 to 33%, that were resistant to CTV, and the rest of them that showed a significant delay in virus accumulation and symptom onset. Protection was efficient against non-homologous CTV strains and was generally accompanied by high accumulation of p25 CP in the protected lines, which suggest a CP-mediated protection mechanism in most cases. This is the first report demonstrating pathogen-derived resistance in transgenic plants against a Closterovirus member in its natural host.