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Interactions Between Geminiviruses in a Naturally Occurring Mixture: Pepper huasteco virus and Pepper golden mosaic virus

March 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  3
Pages  270 - 277

J. Méndez-Lozano , I. Torres-Pacheco , C. M. Fauquet , and R. F. Rivera-Bustamante

First, second, and fourth authors: Departamento de Ingeniería Genética, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del IPN, U. Irapuato, Apartado Postal 629, Irapuato, Gto, México; and third author: ILTAB, Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO

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Accepted for publication 12 September 2002.

Pepper huasteco virus (PHV) and Pepper golden mosaic virus (PepGMV) are found in mixtures in many horticultural crops in Mexico. This combination constitutes an interesting, naturally occurring model system to study several aspects of virus-virus interactions. Possible interactions between PHV and PepGMV were studied at four levels: symptom expression, gene expression, replication, and movement. In terms of symptom expression, the interaction was shown to be host-dependent because antagonism was observed in pepper, whereas synergism was detected in tobacco and Nicotiana benthamiana. PHV and PepGMV did not generate viable pseudorecombinant viruses; however, their replication is increased during mixed infections. An asymmetric complementation in movement was observed because PHV was able to support the systemic movement of PepGMV A whereas PepGMV did not support the systemic distribution of PHV A. Heterologous transactivation of both coat protein promoters also was detected. Several conclusions can be drawn from these experiments. First, viruses coinfecting the same plant can interact at several levels (replication, movement) and in different manners (synergism, antagonism); some interactions might be host dependent; and natural mixed infections could be a potential source of geminivirus variability by generating viable tripartite combinations that could facilitate recombination events.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society