Effect of Diaporthe RNA virus 1 (DRV1) on growth and pathogenicity of different Diaporthe species
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A 4.1 kbp positive-strand RNA virus known as Diaporthe RNA virus 1 (DRV1) occurs in hypovirulent, non-sporulating isolates of the fungal pathogen Diaporthe perjuncta. A full-length cDNA clone of DRV1 was developed and RNA transcribed from the cDNA clone used to transfect different Diaporthe spp. The transfected species included three D. ambigua isolates and an unidentified Phomopsis asexual state of a Diaporthe sp. Successful transfections were confirmed using RT-PCR. Although the in vitro-transcribed positive sense single-stranded RNA used for transfection included vector sequences at both ends, the genomes of progeny virus from DRV1-transfected isolates were free of the vector sequences. Transfection resulted in morphological changes in these fungal pathogens. However, the presence of DRV1 did not reduce growth rate in two of the three D. ambigua or the Phomopsis sp. significantly. Pathogenicity studies showed that the transfected isolates have reduced aggresiveness.
KeywordsDiaporthe Phomopsis Diaporthe RNA virus 1 Mycovirus Transfection Spheroplast
We thank members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the THRIP initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, and the Mellon Foundation Mentoring Programme of the University of Pretoria for financial support. We also acknowledge the assistance of the late Dr. B. Eisenberg with statistical analyses.
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