Beet curly top virus is the DNA virus that is providing useful for basic studies of the infection of Arabidopsis thaliana with viral host and provides a system for studying both resistance and the molecular basis of symptom development. An importnat aspect of symptom development observed in BCTV-infected A. thaliana (ecotype Sei-O) was the induction of cell division on phloem and surrounding cortex cells. Analysis of the expression of GUS reporter gene activity in transgenic plants containing constructs with promoter of the auxin-inducible saur gene showed that saur promoter activity was induced concomitantly in symptomatic tissues at the inflorescence shoot tips of the transgenic lines. The auxin sensitivity tests showed that hypersusceptible ecotype, Sei-O produced more amounts of callus than susceptible ecotype, Col-O. These studies indicated that changes in auxin concentration were involved in the induction of cell division in BCTV-infected plants and clearly demonstrated that there was a strong correlation between auxin-induced gene expression and the activation of cell division.
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