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Interaction of Tomato Spotted Wilt Tospovirus (TSWV) Glycoproteins with a Thrips Midgut Protein, a Potential Cellular Receptor for TSWV

February 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  2
Pages  98 - 104

M. D. Bandla , L. R. Campbell , D. E. Ullman , and J. L. Sherwood

First and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078; and second and third authors: Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis 95616

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Accepted for publication 14 November 1997.

Interactions between viral and cellular membrane fusion proteins mediate virus penetration of cells for many arthropod-borne viruses. Electron microscope observations and circumstantial evidence indicate insect acquisition of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) (genus Tospovirus, family Bunyaviridae) is receptor mediated, and TSWV membrane glycoproteins (GP1 and GP2) serve as virus attachment proteins. The tospoviruses are plant-infecting members of the family Bunyaviridae and are transmitted by several thrips species, including Frankliniella occidentalis. Gel overlay assays and immunolabeling were used to investigate the putative role of TSWV GPs as viral attachment proteins and deter mine whether a corresponding cellular receptor may be present in F. occidentalis. A single band in the 50-kDa region was detected with murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the TSWV-GPs when isolated TSWV or TSWV-GPs were used to overlay separated thrips proteins. This band was not detected when blots were probed with antibody to the non-structural protein encoded by the small RNA of TSWV or the TSWV nucleocapsid protein, nor were proteins from nonvector insects labeled. Anti-idiotype antibodies prepared to murine MAbs against GP1 or GP2 specifically labeled a single band at 50 kDa in Western blots and the plasmalemma of larval thrips midguts. These results support the putative role of the TSWV GPs as viral attachment proteins and identified potential cellular receptor(s) in thrips.

Additional keywords: insect vector , ligand , plant virus , virus acquisition , western flower thrips .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society