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Satellite RNA of Cucumber Mosaic Cucumovirus Spreads Epidemically in Natural Populations of Its Helper Virus

June 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  6
Pages  520 - 524

José Luis Alonso-Prados , Miguel A. Aranda , José M. Malpica , Fernando García-Arenal , and Aurora Fraile

First, second, fourth, and fifth authors: Depto. de Biotecnología, E.T.S.I. Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain; and third author: Area de Biología Molecular y Virología Vegetal, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias, 28040 Madrid, Spain

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Accepted for publication 20 February 1998.

Three hundred thirty-eight isolates of cucumber mosaic cucumovirus (CMV), sampled from natural populations in six areas of Spain between 1989 and 1996, were screened for the presence of satellite RNA (satRNA). The frequency of CMV isolates with satRNA approached 1.00 in Valencia (east Spain) between 1990 and 1994 where a tomato necrosis epidemic induced by CMV+satRNA had started in 1986 and was smaller north and west of this area in 1992 and 1993. After 1994, satRNA almost disappeared from all CMV populations. Genetic typing of satRNA variantswas done by ribonuclease protection assay, and from these data, genetic distances were estimated for any pair of satRNA variants. CMV-satRNA populations were highly diverse, containing 0.07865 nucleotide substitutions per site on average. Data also showed that the whole compared set of 100 satRNA variants form a single population that is not structured according to place, year, host plant, or strain of helper virus (HV). This is in sharp contrast with the metapopulation structure of the Spanish CMV population. Thus, the genetic structure and dynamics of populations of CMV and its satRNA are not coupled. This shows that CMV-satRNA spreads epidemically, as a hyperparasite, in the population of its HV. This conclusion is relevant to the use of CMV-satRNA as a biocontrol agent of CMV.

Additional keywords: population dynamics , population structure .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society