Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2012) 78, 8523-8530

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Noemí Herrero, Encarna Dueñas, Enrique Quesada-Moraga and Iñigo Zabalgogeazcoa (2012)
Prevalence and diversity of viruses in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78 (24), 8523-8530
Abstract: Viruses have been discovered in numerous fungal species, but unlike most known animal or plant viruses, they are rarely associated with deleterious effects on their hosts. The knowledge about viruses among entomopathogenic fungi is very limited, although their existence is suspected because of the presence of virus-like double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in isolates of several species. Beauveria bassiana is one of the most-studied species of entomopathogenic fungi; it has a cosmopolitan distribution and is used as a biological control agent against invertebrates in agriculture. We analyzed a collection of 73 isolates obtained at different locations and from different habitats in Spain and Portugal, searching for dsRNA elements indicative of viral infections. The results revealed that the prevalence of viral infections is high; 54.8% of the isolates contained dsRNA elements with viral characteristics. The dsRNA electropherotypes of infected isolates indicated that virus diversity was high in the collection analyzed and that mixed virus infections occurred in fungal isolates. However, a hybridization experiment indicated that dsRNA bands that are similar in size do not always have similar sequences. Particular virus species or dsRNA profiles were not associated with locations or types of habitats, probably because of the ubiquity and efficient dispersion of this fungus as an airborne species. The sequence of one of the most common dsRNA elements corresponded to the 5.2-kbp genome of a previously undescribed member of the Totiviridae family, termed B. bassiana RNA virus 1 (BbRV1).
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Database assignments for author(s): Iñigo Zabalgogeazcoa, Enrique Quesada-Moraga

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Beauveria bassiana (entomopathogen) Portugal (continental)
Beauveria bassiana (entomopathogen) Spain (continental)