Sclerotinia mycoviruses (antagonist)

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Sclerotinia sclerotiorum mycovirus - top row: culture of infected strain (left) and uninfected strain (right), bottom row: rapeseed leaves infected with mycovirus-infected (left) and uninfected (right) strains (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Muhammad Rizwan Hamid et al.
Source: Viruses (2018) 10 (6 - 295)

Sclerotinia mycoviruses (antagonist)

Several mycoviruses have been described as infecting the white mold fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The fungus normally has effective RNA silencing mechanisms to prevent infection by these mycoviruses (Mochama et al., 2018). RNA mycoviruses can infect fungal strains where this mechanism is defective, causing hypovirulence with reduced infectivity, slow growth in culture, and the production of few sclerotia.

While most mycoviruses are RNA viruses, some mycoviruses infecting S. sclerotiorum are also DNA viruses like the 'Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirulence-associated DNA virus 1'. This mycovirus is also relatively stable outside its host and therefore may be more suitable as a biological control agent (see Yu et al., 2010 and Xie & Yang, 2014).

Several mycoviruses infect other species of Sclerotinia. These include, for example, the virus "Ophiostoma mitovirus 3" which is an important antagonist of the dollar spot fungus Sclerotinia homoeocarpa.