Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 52, Issue 2–3, pp 355–363 | Cite as

Double-Stranded RNA Elements and Virus-Like Particles in Aspergilli

  • J. VargaEmail author
  • Beáta Tóth
  • Szilvia Szencz
  • J. Molnár
  • Cs. Fekete
  • L. Szabó


Mycoviruses with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) genomes are frequently encountered in Aspergillus isolates. A detailed study of such dsRNA elements in black Aspergillus isolates collected worldwide was carried out, and the data were analysed. The results indicate that about 10% of black Aspergilli are infected. However, the geographic distribution of infected isolates exhibits large variations; 3–13% of the isolates collected from different continents were found to carry dsRNA elements. Hybridization experiments indicated that electrophoretic banding patterns are not reliable tools for estimating the diversity of these mycovirus genomes. Among strains representing other Aspergillus sections, dsRNA segments indicative of mycovirus infection were observed for the first time in 4 species (A. leporis, A. petrakii, A. fumigatus and A. primulinus). The latter species is able to reproduce sexually. This is the second report on the detection of naturally-occurring dsRNAs in sexually reproducing Aspergillus species. The presence of viruslike particles in these and other Aspergilli was also examined by electron microscopy. Most infected Aspergillus isolates examined were found to carry virus-like particles in the size range 36–40 nm.


double-stranded RNA mycovirus Aspergillus virus-like particle 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adler-Moore, J. (1985) Subcellular particles in pathogenic fungi. In: Howard, D. H. (ed.) Fungi Pathogenic for Humans and Animals, Part B, Pathogenicity and Detection II Marcel Dekker, New York, pp. 103–121.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buck, K. W. (1986) Fungal virology - an overview. In: Buck, K. W. (ed.) Fungal virology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 1–84.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Buck, K. W. (1998) Molecular variability of viruses of fungi. In: Bridge, P., Couteaudier, Y., Clarkson, J. (eds) Molecular variability of fungal pathogens. CAB International, London, pp. 53–72.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Buck, K. W., Girvan, R. F., Ratti, G. (1973) Two serologically distinct double-stranded ribonucleic acid viruses isolated from Aspergillus niger Biochem. Soc. Trans. 1, 1138–1140.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Buck, K. W., Ratti, G. (1975) Biophysical and biochemical properties of two viruses isolated from Aspergillus foetidus. J. Gen. Virol. 27, 211–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Buck, K. W., Ratti, G. (1977) Molecular weight of double-stranded RNA: a re-examination of Aspergillus foetidus virus S RNA components. J. Gen. Virol. 37, 215–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Charter, N. W., Buck, K. W., Brasier, C. M. (1993) De novo generation of mitochondrial DNAplas-mids following cytoplasmic transmission of a degenerative disease in Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Curr. Genet. 24, 505–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Coenen, A., Kevei, F, Hoekstra, R. (1997) Factors affecting the spread of double-stranded RNA viruses in Aspergillus nidulans. Genet. Res. Camb. 69, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Compel, P., Papp, I., Bibó, M., Fekete, C., Hornok, L. (1998) Genetic relationships and genome organization of double-stranded RNA elements of Fusarium poae. Virus Genes 18, 49–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Diepeningen, van, A. D. (1999) Horizontal transfer of genetic elements in the black Aspergilli. Ph. D. Thesis, Wagenigen Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Diepeningen, van, A. D., Debets, A. J. M., Hoekstra, R. F. (1997) Heterokaryon incompatibility blocks virus transfer among natural isolates of black Aspergilli. Curr. Genet. 32, 209–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Elias, K. S., Cotty, P. J. (1996) Incidence and stability of infection by double-stranded RNA genetic elements in Aspergillus section Flavi and effects on aflatoxigenicity. Can. J. Bot. 74, 716–715.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fekete, C., Giczey, G., Papp, I., Szabó, L., Hornok, L. (1995) High-frequency occurrence of viruslike particles with double-stranded RNA genome in Fusarium poae. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 131, 295–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gams, W., Christensen, M., Onions, A. H. S., Pitt, J. I., Samson, R. A. (1985) Infrageneric taxa of Aspergillus. In: Samson, R. A., Pitt, J. I. (eds) Advances in Penicillium and Aspergillus systematics. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 55–61.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hoffmann, T., Golz, C., Schieder, O. (1994) Foreign DNA sequences are received by a wild-type strain of Aspergillus niger after co-culture with transgenic higher plants. Curr. Genet. 27, 70–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hollings, M., Stone, O. M. (1971) Viruses that infect fungi. Ann. Rev. Phytopathol. 9, 93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kim, J. W., Bozarth, R. F. (1985) Intergeneric occurrence of related fungal viruses: the Aspergillus ochraceus virus complex and its relationship to the Penicillium stoloniferum virus S. J. Gen. Virol. 66, 1991–2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kozakiewicz, Z. (1989) Aspergillus species on stored products. Mycol. Papers 161, 1–188.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Leach, J., Finkelstein, D. B., Rambosek, J. A. (1986) Rapid miniprep of DNA from filamentous fungi. Fungal Genet. Newslett. 33, 32–33.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Li, J. K., Parker, B., Kowalik, T. (1987) Rapid alkaline blot-transfer of viral dsRNAs. Anal. Biochem. 163, 210–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Liang, P., Chen, K. (1987) Virus transmission through interspecies protoplast fusion in Aspergillus. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 89, 73–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Marienfeld, J. R., Unseld, M., Brandt, P., Brennicke, A. (1997) Viral nucleic acid sequence transfer between fungi and plants. Trends in Genetics 13, 260–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Morris, T. J., Dodds, J. A. (1979) Isolation and analysis of double-stranded RNA from virus-infected plant and fungal tissue. Phytopathology 69, 854–858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pontecorvo, G., Roper, J. A., Hemmons, L. M., MacDonald, K. D., Bufton, A. W. J. (1953) The genetics of Aspergillus nidulans. Adv. Genet. 5, 141–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Raper, K. B., Fennell, D. I. (1965) The genus Aspergillus. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, Md.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ratti, G., Buck, K. W. (1972) Virus particles in Aspergillus foetidus: a multicomponent system. J. Gen. Virol. 14, 165–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Rogers, H. J., Buck, K. W., Brasier, C. M. (1987) A mitochondrial target for double-stranded RNA in diseased isolates of the fungus that causes Dutch elm disease. Nature 329, 558–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schmidt, F. R., Davis, N. D., Diener, U. L., Lemke, P. A. (1983) Cycloheximide induction of afla-toxin synthesis in a nontoxigenic strain of Aspergillus flavus. Biotechnology 1, 794–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schmidt, F. R., Lemke, P. A., Esser, K. (1986) Viral influences on aflatoxin formation by Aspergillus flavus. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 24, 248–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sutherland, M. L., Brasier, C. M. (1995) Effect of d-factors on in vitro cerato-ulmin production by the Dutch elm disease pathogen Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Mycol. Res. 99, 1211–1217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Udagawa, S.-I., Toyazaki, N., Tsubouchi, H. (1993) Neosartorya primulina, a new species of food-borne Ascomycetes. Mycotaxon 47, 359–366.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Varga, J., Kevei, F., Vágvölgyi, C., Vriesema, A., Croft, J. H. (1994) Double-stranded RNA myco-viruses in section Nigri of the Aspergillus genus. Can. J. Microbiol. 40, 325–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Varga, J., Rinyu, E., Kevei, É., Tóth, B., Kozakiewicz, Z. (1998) Double-stranded RNA mycovirus-es in species of Aspergillus sections Circumdati and Fumigati. Can. J. Microbiol. 44, 569–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wickner, R. B. (1996) Double-stranded RNA viruses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Microbiol. Rev. 60, 250–265.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2001

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Varga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Beáta Tóth
    • 1
  • Szilvia Szencz
    • 1
  • J. Molnár
    • 1
  • Cs. Fekete
    • 2
  • L. Szabó
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  2. 2.Agricultural Biotechnology CenterGödöllőHungary

Personalised recommendations