Broad-spectrum virus resistance in transgenic plants expressing pokeweed antiviral protein

Jennifer K. Lodge, Wojciech K. Kaniewski, Nilgun E. Tumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


Exogenous application of pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP), a ribosome-inhibiting protein found in the cell walls of Phytolacca americana (pokeweed), protects heterologous plants from viral infection. A cDNA clone for PAP was isolated and introduced into tobacco and potato plants by transformation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Transgenic plants that expressed either PAP or a double mutant derivative of PAP showed resistance to infection by different viruses. Resistance was effective against both mechanical and aphid transmission. Analysis of the vacuum infiltrate of leaves expressing PAP showed that it is enriched in the intercellular fluid. Analysis of resistance in transgenic plants suggests that PAP confers viral resistance by inhibiting an early event in infection. Previous methods for creating virus-resistant plants have been specific for a particular virus or closely related viruses. To protect plants against more than one virus, multiple genes must be introduced and expressed in a single transgenic line. Expression of PAP in transgenic plants offers the possibility of developing resistance to a broad spectrum of plant viruses by expression of a single gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7089-7093
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Broad-spectrum virus resistance in transgenic plants expressing pokeweed antiviral protein'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this