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Poster: Diseases of Plants: New & Emerging Diseases


Seed-borne virome in cucurbits
S. SABANADZOVIC (1), N. Aboughanem-Sabanadzovic (1) (1) Mississippi State University, U.S.A.

In this work we investigated the ‘community’ of seed-borne viruses in more than 50 cultivars and PI lines/accessions belonging to different botanical species of cucurbits by the next-generation sequencing approach. To this aim, double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) were extracted from plant tissue collected at the first true leaf stage from a pool of young seedlings belonging to the same genotype and grown under greenhouse conditions in order to prevent contamination by horizontally transmitted viruses. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoreses (PAGE) revealed the presence of single or multiple dsRNA bands in the majority of tested plants indicating ongoing infections by vertically transmitted viruses. The dsRNA extracts were reverse transcribed, tagged, and submitted to Illumina sequencing. Results of the sequence analyses demonstrated the widespread presence of persistent viruses in tested cucurbits, mainly those belonging to the families Partitiviridae, Amalgaviridae, Endornaviridae and Totiviridae. In this study, we identified and characterized numerous viruses, representatives of new species and confirmed the prevalence of Cucumis melo endornavirus and Lagenaria siceraria endornavirus in tested melons and bottle gourds, respectively. The importance of widespread presence of persistent viruses in some cucurbits and their possible effects to the host are yet to be understood.