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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #407831

Research Project: Emerging Stress Challenges and Functional Genomics of Stress Responses in Alfalfa

Location: Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

Title: Alfalfa vein mottling virus, a novel potyvirid infecting Medicago sativa L

item Nemchinov, Lev
item Postnikova, Olga
item Wintermantel, William - Bill
item PALUMBO, JOHN - University Of Arizona
item Grinstead, Sam

Submitted to: Virology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2023
Publication Date: 11/30/2023
Citation: Nemchinov, L.G., Postnikova, O.A., Wintermantel, W.M., Palumbo, J.C., Grinstead, S.C. 2023. Alfalfa vein mottling virus, a novel potyvirid infecting Medicago sativa L. Virology Journal. 20:284.

Interpretive Summary: Research on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), a major forage crop worldwide, greatly benefited from the latest advances in next generation sequencing technologies that enabled, among other things, discovery of numerous microorganisms, primarily viruses. Viruses were found to be an integral part of a diverse community of pathogenic microbes infecting alfalfa. In this research, aimed at surveying alfalfa varieties grown in the U.S. to identify, characterize, and prevent the spread of novel and emerging viruses in the country, we report a discovery of a novel viral pathogen, categorized as a member of the largest and economically important family of RNA plant viruses, Potyviridae. It is expected that this research will be of interest to plant pathologists, extension specialists, alfalfa growers, and people working in the field of alfalfa improvement.

Technical Abstract: Background. We have recently identified a novel virus detected in alfalfa seed material. The virus was tentatively named alfalfa-associated potyvirus 1, as its genomic fragments bore similarities with potyvirids. In this study, we continued investigating this novel species, expanding information on its genomic features and biological characteristics. Methods. This research used a wide range of methodology to achieve end results: high throughput sequencing, bioinformatics tools, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions, differential diagnostics using indicator plants, virus purification, transmission electron microscopy, and others. Results. In this study, we obtained a complete genome sequence of the virus and classified it as a tentative species in the new genus, most closely related to the members of the genus Ipomovirus in the family Potyviridae. This assumption is based on the genome sequence and structure, phylogenetic relationships, and transmission electron microscopy investigations. We also demonstrated its mechanical transmission to the indicator plant Nicotiana benthamiana and to the natural host Medicago sativa, both of which developed characteristic symptoms therefore suggesting a pathogenic nature of the disease. Conclusions. Consistent with symptomatology, the virus was renamed to alfalfa vein mottling virus. A name Alvemovirus was proposed for the new genus in the family Potyviridae, of which alfalfa vein mottling virus is a tentative member.