Targeting of the site of nonhomologous genetic recombination in brome mosaic virus
The genome of brome mosaic virus (BMV) consists of three positive strand RNA segments that share a high degree of sequence homology in the 3′ noncoding region. The phenomenon of both homologous and nonhomologous intersegment RNA-RNA recombination has been demonstrated within the 3′ noncoding region of BMV RNAs. It has been postulated that nonhomologous crossovers occur at local heteroduplexes formed between the recombining BMV RNA substrates of the same polarity and that the formation of double-stranded regions facilitates strand switching by the replicase. To test the hypothesis of hybridization-mediated recombination in BMV, RNA-3 constructs carrying short antisense RNA1-derived sequences have been used to induce nonhomologous recombination events between RNA-1 and RNA-3 at or near the site of hybridization. We find that both the incidence of recombination and the location of recombinant junctions depends on the structure and the stability of heteroduplexes. Furthermore, our preliminary results demonstrate that mutations in the helicase-like domain of BMV protein la affect the location of recombinant junctions. This provides experimental evidence that BMV replicase protein la participates in recombination.
KeywordsNoncoding Region Brome Mosaic Virus Crossover Site Turnip Crinkle Virus Recombinant Junction
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