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The effect of synonymous substitutions in the melon necrotic spot virus p29 replicase gene on viral pathogenicity was investigated. The codons in the p29 gene were replaced by the least frequently used synonymous codons in Arabidopsis thaliana or melons. Mechanical inoculation of melon with p29 variants resulted in a loss of viral infectivity when all, one-half, or one-quarter of the gene was de-optimised. The effect of the de-optimisation in one-sixth of the gene was different depending on the de-optimised region. These results demonstrate that large-scale codon bias de-optimisation without amino acid substitutions of the p29 gene alter viral infectivity.


Atsushi Usami, Tomofumi Mochizuki, Shinya Tsuda, Satoshi T Ohki. Large-scale codon de-optimisation of the p29 replicase gene by synonymous substitutions causes a loss of infectivity of melon necrotic spot virus. Archives of virology. 2013 Sep;158(9):1979-85

PMID: 23553455

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