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Purification and Properties of a New Virus from Black Currant, Its Affinities with Nepoviruses, and Its Close Association with Black Currant Reversion Disease

April 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  4
Pages  404 - 413

A. Lemmetty , S. Latvala , A. T. Jones , P. Susi , W. J. McGavin , and K. Lehto

First and second authors: Agricultural Research Centre, Institute of Plant Protection, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland; second and sixth authors: Department of Biology, Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, University of Turku, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland; third and fifth authors: Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland; and fourth author: Department of Plant Production, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland

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Accepted for publication 16 December 1996.

Black currant reversion is a virus-like disease whose causal agent has not been identified. In rooted cuttings of a black currant plant affected with the severe form of the disease, pronounced chlorotic line patterns and ringspots developed in newly emerging leaves. From such symptom-bearing leaves, a virus was mechanically transmitted with difficulty to Chenopodium quinoa and, from this host, to other herbaceous test plants. The virus was purified and partially characterized, and the purified viri-ons were used for antiserum production. Virus particles were isometric, approximately 27 nm in diameter, and sedimented as two nucleoprotein components. They contained a protein species with a molecular mass of 55 kDa, which was readily degraded into a 54-kDa protein and two major RNA components of about 6,700 and 7,700 nucleotides (nt), each with a poly(A) tail. Most of these properties are shared by nepoviruses, but the virus was serologically unrelated to 14 nepoviruses or putative nepovi-ruses tested. However, the deduced sequence of 1,260 nt at the 3′ end of one of the viral RNA species was distinct from any known viral sequence, except that it contained short regions of homology to the 3′ terminal sequences of RNAs of seven other nepoviruses and two comovi-ruses. To detect this virus in Ribes plants, primers were designed from the known sequence to amplify a 210-nt region of the cDNA of the virus RNA using an immunocapture reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (IC-RT-PCR) protocol. Using this assay for the virus, we associated its presence with two recognized forms of black currant reversion disease occurring in Finland, Scotland, or New Zealand. We also detected the virus in vector gall mites from reverted plants and in black currant plants on which such vector mites had fed. However, the virus was not detected by IC-RT-PCR in known healthy Ribes plants; in Ribes plants free from reversion, but affected by three other distinct virus-like diseases of Ribes; or in plants infected with arabis mosaic, strawberry latent ringspot, or raspberry ringspot nepoviruses. These data suggest that this virus may be the causal agent of reversion disease, and it is tentatively called black currant reversion associated virus.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society