Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Departamento Protección Vegetal y Biotecnología, Carretera Moncada-Náquera km 5, 46113 Moncada, Valencia, Spain
The dynamics of virus interference between two isolates of Plum pox virus (PPV) belonging to the main PPV types, D and M, were analyzed in Japanese plum (Prunus salicina) by challenge inoculations. To assess the consequences of a PPV-M infection on plum already infected with PPV-D, and vice versa (predominance of one of the strains, recombination, synergism, symptoms aggravation, and so on), 30 Japanese plum trees were graft inoculated with PPV-D or PPV-M isolates in quarantine conditions. One year postinoculation, in the event that the inoculated isolates were detected in the whole plant, a second challenge inoculation (PPV-M or PPV-D, respectively) was performed by grafting. The presence of PPV-D, PPV-M, or both was monitored for 7 years by double-antibody sandwich indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using specific monoclonal antibodies. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with D- and M-specific primers confirmed the serological typing. Real-time RT-PCR assays were performed using D- and M-specific fluorescent 3′ minor groove binder-DNA probes, which were able to detect and quantify PPV populations in the inoculated plants with greater precision. The presence of PPV-D in Japanese plum did not cross-protect the trees against PPV-M infection. In PPV-D-infected plants, the PPV-M strain used as challenge inoculum behaved differently depending on the plum cultivar assayed. In cv. Black Diamond, PPV-M invaded the plant progressively, displacing the previous PPV-D population; whereas, in cv. Sun Gold, both PPV isolates coexisted in the plant. In contrast, the PPV-D isolate used was unable to infect plants of both cultivars in which a PPV-M population already was established. After 7 years, no synergism was observed and no recombination event between PPV-D and PPV-M genomes was detected.