The Rep proteins encoded by alphasatellites restore expression of a transcriptionally silenced green fluorescent protein transgene in Nicotiana benthamiana

Qamar Abbas, Imran Amin, Shahid Mansoor, Muhammad Shafiq, Michael Wassenegger, Rob W. Briddon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Alphasatellites are non-essential satellite-like components associated with geminiviruses. The precise selective advantage to a geminivirus infection of an alphasatellite remains unclear. The ability of the cotton leaf curl Multan alphasatellite (CLCuMuA)-encoded replication-associated protein (Rep) to suppress TGS was investigated by using Nicotiana benthamiana line 16-TGS (16-TGS) harbouring a transcriptionally silenced green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene. Inoculation of 16-TGS plants with a recombinant Potato virus X (PVX) vector carrying CLCuMuA Rep resulted in restoration of GFP expression. Northern blot analysis confirmed that the observed GFP fluorescence was associated with GFP mRNA accumulation. Inoculation with PVX vectors harbouring a further six Rep proteins, encoded by genetically distinct alphasatellites, were similarly shown to result in 16-TGS plants with restored GFP expression. These results indicate that the alphasatellite-encoded Rep can restore the expression of a transcriptionally silenced GFP transgene in N. benthamiana, indicating that alphasatellites are involved in overcoming host defence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Alphasatellite
  • Geminivirus
  • RNA interference
  • Transcriptional gene silencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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