Product(s) used in this publication: PepSpots™ Peptides on Cellulose
Pathogen-specific recombinant antibodies have been used to characterize pathogen infections and to engineer resistance in crops. We selected a single-chain antibody fragment (scFvLR3cp-1) specific for the coat protein of grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3), one of the agents of grapevine leafroll (GLR) disease, from a phage display library. The antibody binds specifically to the entire length of GLRaV-3 particles and has a high binding affinity value (K(D)) of 42 nM. The amino acid motif AQEPPRQ located at the N terminus of the GLRaV-3 coat protein was identified as the antibody-binding epitope by PEPSCAN analysis. To evaluate scFv stability in the reducing environment of the plant cell cytosol, transient expression assays were performed using Nicotiana benthamiana as a model plant. Capture ELISA demonstrated that the scFv fragment was produced and retained its antigen-binding capacity in the plant cytosol. Further functional assays showed that scFvLR3cp-1 binds with high specificity to at least four members of the family Closteroviridae. Therefore, the GLRaV-3-specific scFv fragment could be an ideal candidate for mediating broad-spectrum virus resistance if produced in transgenic grapevine plants.