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Potato virus Y (PVY) is the most important viral pathogen of cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) from a commercial perspective, causing severe losses in both tuber quality and yield worldwide. Specific accessions of wild potato species exhibit resistance against PVY but efforts to transfer the trait to cultivated material have not yielded widely adopted varieties. Because amino acid substitutions at specific domains of host factor eIF4E-1 often confer resistance to various crops, we sequenced the associated genes expressed in wild potato plants. A novel eIF4E-1 variant, designated here as Eva1, was identified in S. chacoense, S. demissum, and S. etuberosum. The protein contains amino acid substitutions at ten different positions when compared to its cultivated potato (S. tuberosum) homolog. In the yeast two-hybrid system, Eva1 failed to bind VPg, a viral protein required for infectivity. Overexpression of the associated cDNA conferred PVY resistance to transgenic potato plants silenced for the native eIF4E-1 gene. Because the gene sources of Eva1 are sexually compatible with potato, the molecular strategies described can be employed to develop 'intragenic' potato cultivars.


Hui Duan, Craig Richael, Caius M Rommens. Overexpression of the wild potato eIF4E-1 variant Eva1 elicits Potato virus Y resistance in plants silenced for native eIF4E-1. Transgenic research. 2012 Oct;21(5):929-38

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PMID: 22146867

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