, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 354-361

The Nerium oleander aphid Aphis nerii is tolerant to a local isolate of Aphid lethal paralysis virus (ALPV)

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Abstract

In a survey that was conducted during the year 2011, a local strain of Aphid lethal paralysis virus (ALPV) was identified and isolated from a wild population of Aphis nerii aphids living on Nerium oleander plants located in northern Israel. The new strain was tentatively named (ALPV-An). RNA extracted from the viral particles allowed the amplification and determination of the complete genome sequence. The virus genome is comprised of 9835 nucleotides. In a BLAST search analysis, the ALPV-An sequence showed 89 % nucleotide sequence identity with the whole genome of a South African ALPV and 96 and 94 % amino acid sequence identity with the ORF1 and ORF2 of that strain, respectively. In preliminary experiments, spray-applied, purified ALPV virions were highly pathogenic to the green peach aphid Myzus persicae; 95 % mortality was recorded 4 days post-infection. These preliminary results demonstrate the potential of ALPV for use as a biologic agent for some aphid control. Surprisingly, no visible ALPV pathogenic effects, such as morphological changes or paralysis, were observed in the A. nerii aphids infected with ALPV-An. The absence of clear ALPV symptoms in A. nerii led to the formulation of two hypotheses, which were partially examined in this study. The first hypothesis suggest that A. nerii is resistant or tolerant of ALPV, while the second hypothesis propose that ALPV-An may be a mild strain of ALPV. Currently, our results is in favor with the first hypothesis since ALPV-An is cryptic in A. nerii aphids and can be lethal for M. persicae aphids.