Natural infections of the geminivirus African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) are known to be associated with low levels of defective interfering (DI) DNAs. Recently it has been demonstrated that extrachromosomal copies of the DI DNA, mobilized and amplified from an integrated DI DNA dimer, can ameliorate ACMV symptoms in transformed Nicotiana benthamiana, providing a possible means for the control of cassava mosaic disease. To further understand the molecular basis of the interference phenomenon, we have compared the ability of ACMV and tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV) genomic components to replicate in leaf discs derived from DI DNA-transformed and control plants. Results indicate that the ACMV DI DNA interferes with the replication of both genomic components of ACMV to a similar extent. TGMV DNA A replicates to normal levels in transformed leaf discs and plants because it is unable to mobilize and amplify ACMV DI DNA. Differences in the relative levels of ACMV genomic components in transformed leaf discs and plants are discussed in terms of DNA replication and the availability of the genomic components for spread throughout the plant.
Frischmuth, T.; Stanley, J. African cassava mosaic virus DI DNA interferes with the replication of both genomic components. Virology (1991) 183 (2) 539-544. [DOI: 10.1016/0042-6822(91)90982-H]