Engineering Resistance to Mixed Virus Infection in a Commercial Potato Cultivar: Resistance to Potato Virus X and Potato Virus Y in Transgenic Russet Burbank


Potato virus X (PVX) and potato virus Y (PVY) infection in potato may result in the loss of certification of seed potatoes and affect quality and yield of potatoes in commercial production. We transformed a major commercial cultivar of potato, Russet Burbank, with the coat protein genes of PVX and PVY. Transgenic plants that expressed both CP genes were resistant to infection by PVX and PVY by mechanical inoculation. One line was also resistant when PVY was inoculated with viruliferous green peach aphids. These experiments demonstrate that CP protection is effective against mixed infection by two different viruses and against mechanical and aphid transmission of PVY.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Beemster, A.B.R. and de Bokx, J.A. 1987. Survey of properties and symptoms. p. 84–113. In: Viruses of Potatoes and Seed Potato Production. J. A. de Bokx and J. P. H. Van der Want, (Eds.). Wageningen, Netherlands.

  2. 2

    Munro, J. 1986. Potato Virus X, p. 72–74. In: Compendium of Potato Diseases. W.J. Hooker, (Ed.). American Phytopathological Society.

  3. 3

    de Bokx, J.A. 1986. Potato Virus Y, p. 70–71. In: Compendium of Potato Diseases, W.J. Hooker, (Ed.). American Phytopathological Society.

  4. 4

    Delgado-Sanchez, S. and Grogan, R.G. 1970. Potato Virus Y. In: C.M.I./A.A.B. Descriptions of Plant Viruses. No. 37. Commonwealth Mycological Institute and the Association of Applied Biologists, Surrey, England.

  5. 5

    Rochow, W.F. and Ross, F.A. 1955. Virus multiplication in plants double infected by potato viruses X and Y. Virology 1: 10–27.

  6. 6

    Powell-Abel, P., Nelson, R.S., De, B., Hoffman, N., Rogers, S.G., Fraley, R.T. and Beachy, R.N. 1986. Delay of disease development in transgenic plants that express the tobacco mosaic virus coat protein gene. Science 232: 738–743.

  7. 7

    Tumer, N.E., O'Connell, K.M., Nelson, R.N., Sanders, P.R., Beachy, R.N., Fraley, R.T. and Shah, D.M. 1987. Expression of alfalfa mosaic virus coat protein gene confers cross-protection in transgenic tobacco and tomato plants. EMBO J. 6: 1181–1188.

  8. 8

    Loesch-Fries, L.S., Merlo, D., Zinnen, T., Burhop, L., Hill, K., Krahn, K., Jarvis, N., Nelson, S. and Halk, E. 1987. Expression of alfalfa mosaic virus RNA4 in transgenic plants confers virus resistance. EMBO J. 6: 1845–1851.

  9. 9

    Van Dun, C.M.P., Bol, J.F. and van Vloten-Doting, L. 1987. Expression of alfalfa mosaic virus and tobacco rattle virus coat protein genes in transgenic tobacco plants. Virology 159: 299–305.

  10. 10

    Cuozzo, M., O'Connell, K.M., Kaniewski, W., Fang, R.-X., Chua, N.-H. and Tumer, N.E. 1988. Viral protection in transgenic tobacco plants expressing the cucumber mosaic virus coat protein or its antisense RNA. Bio/Technology 6: 549–557.

  11. 11

    Hemenway, C., Fang, R.-X., Kaniewski, W.K., Chua, N.-H. and Tumer, N.E. 1988. Analysis of the mechanism of protection in transgenic plants expressing the potato virus X coat protein or its antisense RNA. EMBO J. 7: 1273–1280.

  12. 12

    Hoekema, A., Huisman, M.J., Molendijk, L., van den Elzen, P.J.M. and Cornelissen, B.J.C. 1989. The genetic engineering of two commercial potato cultivars for resistance to potato virus X. Bio/Technology 7: 273–278.

  13. 13

    Van Dun, C.M.P., Overduin, B., van Vloten-Doting, L. and Bol, J.F. 1988. Transgenic tobacco expressing tobacco streak virus or mutated alfalfa mosaic virus coat protein does not cross protect against alfalfa mosaic virus infection. Virology 164: 383–389.

  14. 14

    Van Dun, C.M.P. and Bol, J.F. 1988. Transgenic tobacco plants accumulating tobacco rattle virus coat protein resist infection with tobacco rattle virus and pea early browning virus. Virology 167: 649–652.

  15. 15

    Hiebert, E. and Dougherty, W.G. 1988. Organization and expression of the viral genomes, p. 159–178. In: The Plant Viruses, Vol. 4. R. G. Milne (Ed.). Plenum Press, New York.

  16. 16

    Dougherty, W.G. and Carrington, J.C. 1988. Expression and function of potyviral gene products. Ann. Rev. Phytopathol. 26: 123–143.

  17. 17

    Hollings, M. and Brunt, A.A. 1981. Potyviruses, p. 731–807. In: Handbook of Plant virus infections: Comparative Diagnosis. E. Kur-stak (Ed.). Elsevier/North Holland.

  18. 18

    Tumer, N.E., Clark, W.G., Tabor, G.J., Hironaka, C.M., Fraley, R.T. and Shah, D.M. 1986. The genes encoding the small subunit of ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase are expressed differentially in petunia leaves. Nuc. Acids Res. 14: 3325–3342.

  19. 19

    Sanger, F., Nicklen, S. and Coulson, A.R. 1977. DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74: 5463–5467.

  20. 20

    Kunkel, T.A., Roberts, J.D. and Zakour, R.A. 1987. Rapid and efficient site-specific mutagenesis without phenotypic selection. Methods in Enzymol. 154: 367–382.

  21. 21

    Hunkapiller, M.W., Hewick, R.M., Dreyer, R.J. and Hood, L.E. 1983. Sensitivity sequencing with a gas phase sequenator. Methods in Enzymol. 91: 399–413.

  22. 22

    Fraley, R.T., Rogers, S.G., Horsch, R.B., Eicholtz, D.A., Flick, J.S., Fink, C.L., Hoffman, N.L. and Sanders, P.R. 1985. The SEV system: A new disarmed Ti plasmid vector system for plant transformation. Bio/Technology 3: 629–635.

  23. 23

    Kay, R., Chan, A., Daly, M. and McPherson, J. 1987. Duplication of CaMV 35S promoter sequences creates a strong enhancer for plant genes. Science 236: 1299–1302.

  24. 24

    Coruzzi, G., Broglie, R., Edwards, C. and Chua, N.-H. 1984. Tissue-specific and light-regulated expression of a pea nuclear gene encoding the small subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase. EMBO J. 3: 1671–1679.

  25. 25

    Yang, L., Reddick, B. and Slack, S.A. 1983. Results of experiments on the purification of potato virus Y. Phytopathology 73: 794–797.

  26. 26

    Shepard, J.F. and Shalla, T.A. 1972. Relative antigenic specificities of two PVX strains and their d-protein oligomers. Virology 47: 54–60.

  27. 27

    Ditta, G., Stanfield, S., Corbin, D., Helinski, D.R. 1980. Broad host range DNA cloning system for gram-negative bacteria: Construction of a gene bank of Rhizobium meliloti . Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77: 7347–7351.

  28. 28

    Rogers, S.G. and Klee, H. 1987. Pathways to plant genetic manipulation employing Agrobacterium, p. 179–203. In: Plant Gene Research. T. H. Hohn and J. Schell (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, New York.

  29. 29

    Van Der Vlugt, R., Allefs, S., De Haan, P. and Goldbach, R. 1989. Nucleotide sequence of the 3′-terminal region of potato virus YN RNA. J. Gen. Virol. 70: 229–233.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lawson, C., Kaniewski, W., Haley, L. et al. Engineering Resistance to Mixed Virus Infection in a Commercial Potato Cultivar: Resistance to Potato Virus X and Potato Virus Y in Transgenic Russet Burbank. Nat Biotechnol 8, 127–134 (1990).

Download citation

Further reading