Genomic segments RNA1 and RNA2 of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus codetermine viral pathogenicity to adapt to alternating natural Prunus hosts.

Cui, H., Hong, N., Wang, G.P., and Wang, A.M. (2013). "Genomic segments RNA1 and RNA2 of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus codetermine viral pathogenicity to adapt to alternating natural Prunus hosts.", Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 26(5), pp. 515-527. doi : 10.1094/MPMI-12-12-0282-R  Access to full text

Abstract

Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV) affects Prunus fruit production worldwide. To date, numerous PNRSV isolates with diverse pathological properties have been documented. To study the pathogenicity of PNRSV which directly or indirectly determines the economic losses of infected fruit trees, we have recently sequenced the complete genome of peach isolate Pch12 and cherry isolate Chr3, belonging to the pathogenically aggressive PV32 group and mild PV96 group, respectively. Here, we constructed the Chr3- and Pch12-derived full-length cDNA clones that were infectious in the experimental host cucumber and their respective natural Prunus hosts. Pch12-derived clones induced much more severe symptoms than Chr3 in cucumber, and the pathogenicity discrepancy between Chr3 and Pch12 was associated with virus accumulation. By reassortment of genomic segments, swapping of partial genomic segments, and site-directed mutagenesis, we identified the 3’ terminal nucleotide sequence (1C region) in RNA1 and amino acid K at residue 279 in RNA2-encoded P2 as the severe virulence determinants in Pch12. Gain-of-function experiments demonstrate that both the 1C region and K279 of Pch12 were required for severe virulence and high levels of viral accumulation. Our results suggest that PNRSV RNA1 and RNA2 codetermine viral pathogenicity to adapt to alternating natural Prunus hosts likely through mediating viral accumulation.

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