Submitted to: Journal of General Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2004
Publication Date: 2/4/2005
Citation: Sinisterra, X.H., McKenzie, C.L., Hunter, W.B., Powell, C.A., Shatters, Jr., R.G.2005. Differential transcriptional activity of plant pathogenic begomoviruses in the whitefly vector (Bemisia tabaci, Gennadeus: Hemiptera Aleyroididae). Journal of General Virology. 86:1525-1532. Interpretive Summary: Plant viruses vectored to agriculturally important crops are major limitations to crop productivity worldwide. Begomovirus comprise one group of economically important plant viruses and are transmitted to plants by whiteflies. As human activity worldwide has increased, whiteflies and begomviruses have spread from their point of world origin to new crop growing areas including the United States, and as a result, have caused severe production losses in many crop plants. Work in this report was performed at the United States Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, FL to provide basic information on how begomoviruses are carried and transmitted by the whitefly. Results showed that at least one begomovirus produces new virus components while in its insect vector. This is the first quantitative proof of this activity for a plant DNA virus, and this basic information is being used to develop novel ways of blocking virus transmission from whiteflies to agricultural crops that are safe to both human health and the environment.
Technical Abstract: A Begomovirus is the first plant DNA virus suggested to replicate in its insect vector. Real time-RT-PCR of RNA from infected whitefly showed transcript maintenance and accumulation for monopartite Begomovirus (Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl virus, TYLCV) transcripts, but not Tomato mottle virus (ToMoV), a bipartite Begomovirus. Transcription of TYLCV genes within the insect was associated with lower viral DNA titer in the host plant (tomato) and different allocation of viral DNA in the whitefly as compared to ToMoV. Correlation of virus transcription in the insect with virus/host-plant interactions suggests interplay of virus/vector and virus/host interactions during evolution of virus replication.