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Characterization of Synergy Between Cucumber mosaic virus and Potyviruses in Cucurbit Hosts

January 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  1
Pages  51 - 58

Yongzeng Wang , Victor Gaba , Jie Yang , Peter Palukaitis , and Amit Gal-On

First, second, third, and fifth authors: Department of Virology, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50-250, Israel; and fourth author: Virology Unit, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, UK, and Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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Accepted for publication 2 October 2001.

Mixed infections of cucurbits by Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and potyviruses exhibit a synergistic interaction. Zucchini squash and melon plants coinfected by the potyvirus Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) and either Fny-CMV (subgroup IA) or LS-CMV (subgroup II) displayed strong synergistic pathological responses, eventually progressing to vascular wilt and plant death. Accumulation of Fny- or LS-CMV RNAs in a mixed infection with ZYMV in zucchini squash was slightly higher than infection with CMV strains alone. There was an increase in CMV (+) strand RNA levels, but no increase in CMV (-) RNA3 levels during mixed infection with ZYMV. Moreover, only the level of capsid protein from LS-CMV increased in mixed infection. ZYMV accumulated to similar levels in singly and mixed infected zucchini squash and melon plants. Coinfection of squash with the potyvirus Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) and CMV strains increased both the Fny-CMV RNA levels and the LS-CMV RNA levels. However, CMV (-) strand RNA3 levels were increased little or not at all for CMV on coinfection with WMV. Infection of CMV strains (LS and Fny) containing satellite RNAs (WL47-sat RNA and B5*-sat RNA) reduced the accumulation of the helper virus RNA, except when B5*-sat RNA was mixed with LS- CMV. However, mixed infection containing ZYMV and the CMV strains with satellites reversed the suppression effect of satellite RNAs on helper virus accumulation and increased satellite RNA accumulation. The synergistic interaction between CMV and potyviruses in cucurbits exhibited different features from that documented in tobacco, indicating there are differences in the mechanisms of potyvirus synergistic phenomena.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2002