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Deep Sequencing of Recombinant Virus Populations in Transgenic and Nontransgenic Plants Infected with Cucumber mosaic virus

July 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  7
Pages  801 - 811

Marco Morroni , 1 Mireille Jacquemond , 2 and Mark Tepfer 1 , 2 , 3

1Plant Virology Group, ICGEB Biosafety Outstation, Ca' Tron di Roncade, I-31056, Italy; 2INRA UR407 Pathologie Végétale, 84143 Montfavet, France; 3INRA UMR1318 Inst. J.-P. Bourgin, 78026 Versailles cedex, France

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Accepted 15 March 2013.

Recombination is a major source of virus variability, and the question of whether novel recombinant viruses would emerge in transgenic plants expressing viral sequences has been a biosafety issue. We describe the results of pyrosequencing the recombinant viral RNAs appearing in transgenic plants expressing the coat protein (CP) gene and 3′ noncoding region of Cucumber mosaic virus RNA3, as well as in nontransgenic controls. The populations of recombinants in both transgenic and nontransgenic plants were similar to those previously described from Sanger sequencing but many more recombinant types were observed, including a novel class of large deletions removing all or nearly the entire CP gene. These results show that populations of recombinant viral genomes arising de novo can be characterized in detail by pyrosequencing, and confirm that the transgenic plants did not harbor novel recombinants of biosafety concern.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society