Inhibition of potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) infection with DNA oligonucleotides

Author(s): Matousek J, Trnena L, Arnold L, Dedic P, Rakousky S, et al.


The effects of DNA oligonucleotides complementary to potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) on viroid infection were investigated. The oligonucleotides were used to form hybrids with PSTVd in the infection mixture. A 75% reduction of viroid infection was found when an oligonucleotide complementary to nucleotides 79-110 of PSTVd was hybridized with PSTVd at a molar ratio of approximately 5000:1, respectively. A total inhibition of PSTVd infection was observed using an oligonucleotide complementary to nucleotides 42-78 at the same molar excess of DNA over PSTVd, although a 200-fold molar excess was found to be sufficient for the complete blocking of infection by PSTVd. This oligonucleotide caused a significant reduction (about 83%) of viroid infection even if the hybridization was done at a low (30 degrees C) temperature. Shorter oligonucleotides containing 22 and 15 bases corresponding to position 42-62 and 63-78, respectively, exhibited a significant effect only at a high (80 degrees C) initial temperature of molecular hybridization. Heteroduplexes formed between PSTVd RNA and antisense DNA were found to be less stable in a crude nuclease extract from tomato leaves as compared with PSTVd RNA alone. RNase H was demonstrated to cleave the molecular hybrids in vitro.

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