Location: Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research
Project Number: 5440-22000-023-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Mar 14, 2007
End Date: Mar 13, 2012
Objective 1. Identify and characterize WSMV determinant(s) of pathogenicity enhancement (disease synergism) and suppression of the host defense RNA silencing pathway. Objective 2. Identify and characterize WSMV determinant(s) responsible for semipersistent transmission by the wheat curl mite. Objective 3. Develop and evaluate transgenic wheat expressing WSMV non-structural proteins (P1, HC-Pro, P3, NIa) for gene complementation and pathogen-derived resistance to WSMV.
Experiments will be conducted using a cloned cDNA copy of the wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) genome from which infectious viral RNA is generated in vitro and tested for biological activity in wheat and other cereal species. We will use a Agrobacterium tumefaciens/Nicotiana benthamiana system based on induced silencing of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene. Individual protein coding regions of wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) will be cloned into a binary shuttle vector in A. tumefaciens. Each WSMV protein will be tested for the abilty to restore GFP expression in infiltrated leaves. Protein domains involved in the suppression phenotype will be identified by in vitro mutagenesis. Effects of mutants on virus pathogenicity will be tested by introducing identified mutations into an infectious WSMV cDNA clone and tested for disease synergism in mixed infections with maize chlorotic mottle virus. Experiments will be done. Yeast two hybrid methodology will be used to determine if potential interactions between WSMV structural proteins (coat protein and NIa) with a known mite transmission determinant, HC-Pro, will be evaluated using immunoprecipitation, yeast two hybrid and in vitro binding assays. Relevant protein domains will be identified by in vitro mutagenesis and evaluated for effects on mite transmission. Four WSMV proteins (P1, HC-Pro, P3, NIa) will be expressed in transgenic wheat and evaluated for trans-complementation with deletion mutants of WSMV. A lethal HC-Pro mutant will be expressed in wheat and evaluated for potential dominant-negative interference effects on WSMV infection. This project has been approved by the University of Nebraska IBC on March 23, 2007 at Biosafety level 2 (BL-2).