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Single Amino Acid Changes in the 6K1-CI Region Can Promote the Alternative Adaptation of Prunus- and Nicotiana-Propagated Plum pox virus C Isolates to Either Host

February 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  2
Pages  136 - 149

María Calvo,1 Tadeusz Malinowski,2 and Juan Antonio García1

1Departamento de Genética Molecular de Plantas, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain; 2Zakład Biologii Ogólnej i Molekularnej, Instytut Ogrodnictwa, Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland

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Accepted 11 October 2013.

Plum pox virus (PPV) C is one of the less common PPV strains and specifically infects cherry trees in nature. Making use of two PPV-C isolates that display different pathogenicity features, i.e., SwCMp, which had been adapted to Nicotiana species, and BY101, which had been isolated from cherry rootstock L2 (Prunus lannesiana) and propagated only in cherry species, we have generated two infective full-length cDNA clones in order to determine which viral factors are involved in the adaptation to each host. According to our results, the C-P3(PIPO)/6K1/N-CI (cylindrical inclusion) region contains overlapping but not coincident viral determinants involved in symptoms development, local viral amplification, and systemic movement capacity. Amino acid changes in this region promoting the adaptation to N. benthamiana or P. avium have trade-off effects in the alternative host. In both cases, adaptation can be achieved through single amino acid changes in the NIapro protease recognition motif between 6K1 and CI or in nearby sequences. Thus, we hypothesize that the potyvirus polyprotein processing could depend on specific host factors and the adaptation of PPV-C isolates to particular hosts relies on a fine regulation of the proteolytic cleavage of the 6K1-CI junction.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society