Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 59, Issue 11–12, pp 469–481 | Cite as

Chimeric Virus as a Source of the Potato Leafroll Virus Antigen

  • Eugene V. Skurat
  • Konstantin O. Butenko
  • Olga A. Kondakova
  • Nikolai A. Nikitin
  • Olga V. Karpova
  • Yuri F. Drygin
  • Joseph G. Atabekov
Original Paper


Large quantities of potato leafroll virus (PLRV) antigen are difficult to obtain because this virus accumulates in plants at a low titer. To overcome this problem, we constructed a binary vector containing chimeric cDNA, in which the coat protein (CP) gene of the crucifer infecting tobacco mosaic virus (crTMV) was substituted for the coat protein gene of PLRV. The PLRV movement protein (MP) gene, which overlaps completely with the CP gene, was doubly mutated to eliminate priming of the PLRV MP translation from ATG codons with no changes to the amino acid sequence of the CP. The untranslated long intergenic region located upstream of the CP gene was removed from the construct. Transcribed powerful tobamovirus polymerase of the produced vector synthesized PLRV CP gene that was, in turn, translated into the protein. CP PLRV packed RNAs from the helical crTMV in spherical virions. Morphology, size and antigenic specificities of the wild-type and chimeric virus were similar. The yield of isolated chimera was about three orders higher than the yield of native PLRV. The genetic manipulations facilitated the generation of antibodies against the chimeric virus, which recognize the wild-type PLRV.


Agroinfiltration Binary vector ELISA Northern blotting analysis Phloem-limited virus Recombinant RNA 



We deeply appreciate Drs. A. Agranovsky, V. Hallan and E. Gavryushina for their critical comments and helpful discussion. We are thankful to Dr. Yu. A. Varitzev for the wild-type isolate of PLRV and gift of antibodies against PLRV from Agdia (USA).


This study was funded by the Russian Science Foundation (Grant No. 14-24-00007).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All experiments on animals (rabbits) were carried out in accordance with the animal care regulations of the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. The protocol was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Faculty of Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Human Rights and Informed Consent

Research involving Human Participants Informed consent: not applicable for this study.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Statement on the Welfare of Animals

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene V. Skurat
    • 1
  • Konstantin O. Butenko
    • 1
  • Olga A. Kondakova
    • 1
  • Nikolai A. Nikitin
    • 1
  • Olga V. Karpova
    • 1
  • Yuri F. Drygin
    • 2
  • Joseph G. Atabekov
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussian Federation
  2. 2.Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussian Federation

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