Journal of Virology (2012) 86, 12912-12922

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Guillaume Lafforgue, Nicolas Tromas, Santiago F. Elena and Mark P. Zwart (2012)
Dynamics of the establishment of systemic potyvirus infection: Independent yet cumulative action of primary infection sites
Journal of Virology 86 (23), 12912-12922
Abstract: In the clinic, farm, or field, for many viruses there is a high prevalence of mixed-genotype infections, indicating that multiple virions have initiated infection and that there can be multiple sites of primary infection within the same host. The dynamic process by which multiple primary infection sites interact with each other and the host is poorly understood, undoubtedly due to its high complexity. In this study, we attempted to unravel the basic interactions underlying this process using a plant RNA virus, as removing the inoculated leaf can instantly and rigorously eliminate all primary infection sites. Effective population size in the inoculated leaf and time of removal of the inoculated leaf were varied in experiments, and it was found that both factors positively influenced if the plant became systemically infected and what proportion of cells in the systemic tissue were infected, as measured by flow cytometry. Fitting of probabilistic models of infection to our data demonstrated that a null model in which the action of each focus is independent of the presence of other foci was better supported than a dependent-action model. The cumulative effect of independently acting foci therefore determined when plants became infected and how many individual cells were infected. There was no evidence for interference between primary infection sites, which is surprising given the planar structure of leaves. By showing that a simple null model is supported, we experimentally confirmed-to our knowledge for the first time-the minimal components that dictate interactions of a conspecific virus population establishing systemic infection.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): Mark P. Zwart

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
molecular biology - genes

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Potyvirus (genus)