Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #286589

Title: Production of Brugmansia plants free of Colombian datura virus by in vitro ribavirin chemotherapy

item Niedz, Randall
item Hyndman, Scott
item Chellemi, Daniel
item Adkins, Scott

Submitted to: ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2013
Publication Date: 11/1/2013
Citation: Niedz, R.P., Hyndman, S.E., Chellemi, D.O., Adkins, S.T. 2013. Production of Brugmansia plants free of Colombian datura virus by in vitro ribavirin chemotherapy. ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science. 8(11):751-755.

Interpretive Summary: Brugmansia or Angel Trumpet is a popular ornamental plant with scented and spectacular flowers. It is susceptible to a number of virus diseases, including the Colombian datura virus or CDV. Unfortunately, CDV is widespread and, once a plant is infected remains infected for the life of the plant. Infected plants are unattractive because of symptoms that range from mosaic chlorotic spots to crinkled leaves. The objective of this study was to develop a technology to remove CDV from infected Brugmansia plants. Such a technology would provide the ornamental nursery industry with a method to produce attractive plants free of CDV. The method developed uses a combination of plant tissue culture and a chemical called ribavirin that destroys animal and plant viruses. Ribavirin was added to the plant tissue culture medium and Brugmansia shoots were inserted into this medium, grown for 30 days, and then the shoots were rooted and transferred to the greenhouse. Brugmansia plants obtained with this treatment were free of the CDV virus or, more accurately, the CDV virus could not be detected – even after six years.

Technical Abstract: Brugmansia x candida Pers ‘Creamsickle’ plants produced by in vitro treatment with ribavirin, and no thermal therapy, remained polymerase chain reaction (PCR-) negative for Columbian datura virus (CDV) after one year. The plants were produced by establishing B. x candida ‘Creamsickle’ shoot cultures on autoclaved MS basal medium (Murashige and Skoog 1962), sucrose 30 g/L, myo-inositol 100 mg/L, thiamine HCl 1 mg/L, pyridoxine HCl 1 mg/L, nicotinic acid 1 mg/L, glycine 2 mg/L, BAP 1.1 µM, pH 5.7, and bacteriological agar (USB Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA) 9.0 g/L with 15 ml of medium per 25×100 mm flat-bottomed glass culture tubes with polypropylene caps (Magenta Corporation, Chicago, Illinois, USA). The cultures were maintained in a growth room illuminated by cool-white fluorescent lamps (26 µmol m-2 s-1), constant 27 °C, and a 16h photoperiod. Four weeks after initiation, the cultures were transferred to the same medium in polypropylene capped glass tubes except that the BAP concentration was reduced to 0.5 µM. In vitro-derived shoots were excised and further dissected to 3-6 mm in length before transferring onto the same medium containing ribavirin at 0, 50, 87.5, or 100 mg/L; these shoots were cultured for 30 days. The ribavirin treated shoots were then transferred onto the multiplication medium without ribavirin for one subculture before being rooted in vitro on the same MS basal medium except with one half strength MS nitrogen salts and 3 µM IAA for four weeks followed by greenhouse acclimatization. In vitro-derived plants that expressed no CDV symptoms and tested PCR-negative one year after transfer to the greenhouse were produced over the entire range of 50-100 mg/L ribavirin tested. A single line, CS22B, from these PCR-negative plants was selected for long-term assessment – this line remains symptom-free and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-negative after 6 years.