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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-7-0590

A Hypovirulent Isolate of Cryphonectria parasitica with Multiple, Genetically Unique dsRNA Segments. S. A. Enebak. Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506. B. I. Hillman(2), and W. L. MacDonald(1). (1) Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506; (2) Department of Plant Pathology, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903. MPMI 7:590-595. Accepted 17 June 1994. Copyright 1994 The American Phytopathological Society.

Many different dsRNA-containing isolates of Cryphonectria (Endothia) parasitica, the chestnut blight fungus, have been identified in surveys conducted in the central Appalachians. Isolate C-18, collected in 1989 from a virulent canker in southern West Virginia, was found to contain 11 segments of dsRNA ranging from 1 to 5 kh in size. Virulence experiments, using Golden Delicious apples, excised dormant American chestnut stems, and American chestnut sprouts, determined that the dsRNA associated with isolate C-18 significantly reduced virulence and altered cultural morphology when isogenic dsRNA-containing and dsRNA-frce asexual progeny were compared. The 11 dsRNA segments were transmitted into other isolates of C parasitica via hyphal anastomosis and into conidia in an all-or-none fashion. Complementary DNA clones from a library representing C-18 dsRNA did not hybridize to other dsRNAs associated with hypovirulent isolates D2 (Pennsylvania), Ep-713 (Europe), NB58-88 (New Jersey), to another multisegniented dsRNA from West Virginia (9B-2-1), or to wound tumor virus. None of the cDNA clones tested hybridized to more than one dsRNA segment by Northern blot analysis. Eight of the 11 dsRNA segments were demonstrated to be genetically unique. Using a phosphate buffer extraction protocol, icosahedral particles approximately 60 nm in diameter were purified from the mycelial tissue of isolate C-18. The dsRNA virus associated with hypovirulence of isolate C-18 is therefore fundamentally different from other hypovirulence-associated viruses characterized to date.

Additional Keywords: Endothia, chestnut blight, reovirus.