EMBO J. 16, 4738-4745. (1997)
Systemic acquired silencing: Transgene-specific post-transcriptional silencing is transmitted by grafting from silenced stocks to non-silenced scions
Palauqui, J.C., Elmayan, T., Pollien, J.M. and Vaucheret, H. (1997)

Using grafting procedures, we investigated the transmission of co-suppression of nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase host genes and transgenes and of post-transcriptional silencing of a uidA transgene encoding glucuronidase in tobacco. We demonstrate that silencing is transmitted with 100% efficiency from silenced stocks to non-silenced scions expressing the corresponding transgene. Transmission is unidirectional from stock to scion, transgene specific, locus independent and requires the presence of a transcriptionally active transgene in the target scion. The transmission of co-suppression occurs when silenced stocks and non-silenced target scions are physically separated by up to 30 cm of stem of a non-target wild-type plant. Taken together, these results suggest that a non-metabolic, transgene-specific, diffusable messenger mediates the propagation of de novo post-transcriptional silencing through the plant.