Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Identification of the viral determinant of hypovirulence and host range in sclerotiniaceae of a genomovirus reconstructed from the plant metagenome.

Abstract

Uncharacterized viral genomes that encode circular replication-associated proteins of single-stranded DNA viruses have been discovered by metagenomics/metatranscriptomics approaches. Some of these novel viruses are classified in the newly formed family Genomoviridae. Here, we determined the host range of a novel genomovirus, SlaGemV-1, through the transfection of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum with infectious clones. Inoculating with the rescued virions, we further transfected Botrytis cinerea and Monilinia fructicola, two economically important members of the family Sclerotiniaceae, and Fusarium oxysporum. SlaGemV-1 causes hypovirulence in S. sclerotiorum, B. cinerea, and M. fructicola. SlaGemV-1 also replicates in Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells but not in Caenorhabditis elegans or plants. By expressing viral genes separately through site-specific integration, the replication protein alone was sufficient to cause debilitation. Our study is the first to demonstrate the reconstruction of a metagenomically discovered genomovirus without known hosts with the potential of inducing hypovirulence, and the infectious clone allows for studying mechanisms of genomovirus-host interactions that are conserved across genera.