Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368924

Research Project: Characterizing and Detecting Pathogens to Ensure Safe Exchange of Plant Germplasm

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Title: Discovery of four novel viruses associated with Flower Yellowing Disease of green Sichuan pepper (Zanthoxylum armatum) by virome analysis

item CAO, MENGJI - Southwest University
item ZHANG, SONG - Southwest University
item LI, MIN - Southwest University
item LIU, YINGJIE - Southwest University
item DONG, PENG - Southwest University
item LI, SHANRONG - Southwest University
item KUANG, MI - Southwest University
item Li, Ruhui
item ZHOU, YAN - Southwest University

Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2019
Publication Date: 7/31/2019
Citation: Cao, M., Zhang, S., Li, M., Liu, Y., Dong, P., Li, S., Kuang, M., Li, R., Zhou, Y. 2019. Discovery of Four Novel Viruses Associated with Flower Yellowing Disease of Green Sichuan Pepper (Zanthoxylum armatum) by Virome Analysis. Archives of Virology.

Interpretive Summary: Green Sichuan pepper is an economically important crop in Chongqing, China, where 70% of the country’s dried fruits are produced. The essential oil extracts are widely used in Asian cuisine and medicine. Flower yellowing disease (FYD), a newly emerging disease, has become a threat to production of Sichuan pepper. It spreads rapidly in fields and renders flowers on the small tree (Zanthoxylum armatum v. novemfolius) sterile. In this study, four new viruses were identified from green Sichuan pepper trees with FYD by a molecular sequencing technology. The complete genomic sequences of these viruses were determined. Analyses of the genetic information show that each are novel viruses in four different virus groups. Rapid and sensitive assays were developed, and surveys revealed a correlation between one of the viruses and FYD. This study provides the information necessary to classify the new viruses, and suggests that viral management strategies may help reduce the incidence of FYD.

Technical Abstract: An emerging virus-like flower yellowing disease (FYD) of green Sichuan pepper (Zanthoxylum armatum v. novemfolius) has been recently reported. Four new RNA viruses were discovered in the FYD-affected plant by the virome analysis using high-throughput sequencing of transcriptome and small RNAs. The complete genomes were determined, and based on the sequence and phylogenetic analysis, they are considered to be new members of the genera Nepovirus (Secoviridae), Idaeovirus (unassigned), Enamovirus (Luteoviridae), and Nucleorhabdovirus (Rhabdoviridae), respectively. Therefore, the tentative names corresponding to these viruses are green Sichuan pepper-nepovirus (GSPNeV), -idaeovirus (GSPIV), -enamovirus (GSPEV), and -nucleorhabdovirus (GSPNuV). The viral population analysis showed that GSPNeV and GSPIV were dominant in the virome. The small RNA profiles of these viruses are in accordance with the typical virus-plant interaction model for Arabidopsis thaliana. Rapid and sensitive RT-PCR assays were developed for viral detection, and used to access the geographical distributions. The results revealed a correlation between GSPNeV and the FYD. The viruses pose potential threats to the normal production of green Sichuan pepper in the affected areas due to their natural transmission and wide spread in fields. Collectively, our results provide useful information regarding taxonomy, transmission and pathogenicity of the viruses as well as management of the FYD.