We plan to study the composition and function of plasmodesmata in relation to virus movement. The effects of a viral infection on the location and abundance of plasmodesmata associated proteins (PAPs), influenced by viral MPs, has not been studied. To this end, monoclonal antibodies specific for maize will be used as molecular probes to analyse plasmodesmal components. The goals of the project are: 1) identify maize PAP homologs in other plant species, 2) use PAPs as markers for altered plasmodesmal function following virus infection, and 3) characterize PAP function through cDNA cloning and sequence analysis. In this project, my work will be supported by an active collaboration between Dr. A.J. Maule and Prof. K. Roberts at the John Innes Centre. It will provide me with a unique opportunity to obtain training in new areas of cell biology, molecular biology and virology that will be invaluable in establishing a research career in France.