Journal of Virology (2018) 92 (17 - e00326-18)

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Jörg Bormann, Cornelia Heinze, Christine Blum, Michael Mentges, Anke Brockmann, Arne Alder, Svenja Kim Landt, Brian Josephson, Daniela Indenbirken, Michael Spohn, Birte Plitzko, Sandra Loesgen, Michael Freitag and Wilhelm Schäfer (2018)
Expression of a structural protein of the mycovirus FgV-ch9 negatively affects the transcript level of a novel symptom alleviation factor and causes virus infection-like symptoms in Fusarium graminearum
Journal of Virology 92 (17 - e00326-18)
Abstract: Infections of fungi by mycoviruses are often symptomless but sometimes also fatal, as they perturb sporulation, growth, and, if applicable, virulence of the fungal host. Hypovirulence-inducing mycoviruses, therefore, represent a powerful means to defeat fungal epidemics on crop plants. Infection with Fusarium graminearum virus China 9 (FgV-ch9), a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) chrysovirus-like mycovirus, debilitates Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of fusarium head blight. In search for potential symptom alleviation or aggravation factors in F. graminearum, we consecutively infected a custom-made F. graminearum mutant collection with FgV-ch9 and found a mutant with constantly elevated expression of a gene coding for a putative mRNA-binding protein that did not show any disease symptoms despite harboring large amounts of virus. Deletion of this gene, named virus response 1 (vr1), resulted in phenotypes identical to those observed in the virus-infected wild type with respect to growth, reproduction, and virulence. Similarly, the viral structural protein coded on segment 3 (P3) caused virus infection-like symptoms when expressed in the wild type but not in the vr1 overexpression mutant. Gene expression analysis revealed a drastic downregulation of vr1 in the presence of virus and in mutants expressing P3. We conclude that symptom development and severity correlate with gene expression levels of vr1. This was confirmed by comparative transcriptome analysis, showing a large transcriptional overlap between the virus-infected wild type, the vr1 deletion mutant, and the P3-expressing mutant. Hence, vr1 represents a fundamental host factor for the expression of virus-related symptoms and helps us understand the underlying mechanism of hypovirulence.
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Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Jörg Bormann

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
molecular biology - genes


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Fusarium graminearum
Fusarium mycoviruses (antagonists) Fusarium graminearum