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Hypovirulence and Double-Stranded RNA in Botrytis cinerea

December 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  12
Pages  1,590 - 1,599

M. D. Wu, L. Zhang, G. Q. Li, D. H. Jiang, M. S. Hou, and H.-C. Huang

First, second, third, fourth, and fifth authors: The Key Laboratory of Plant Pathology of Hubei Province, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China, and the State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China; and sixth author: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 4B1, Canada.

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Accepted for publication 1 July 2007.

Twenty-one strains of Botrytis cinerea isolated from 13 species of plants grown in China were compared for pathogenicity on Brassica napus, mycelial growth on potato dextrose agar, and presence of double-stranded (ds)RNA. The results showed that the strain CanBc-1 was severely debilitated in pathogenicity and mycelial growth, compared with the 20 virulent strains. A dsRNA of approximately 3.0 kb in length was detected in CanBc-1 and 4 hypovirulent single-conidium (SC) isolates of CanBc-1, but was not detected in the 20 virulent strains of B. cinerea and 4 virulent SC isolates of CanBc-1. Results of the horizontal transmission experiment showed that the hypovirulent trait of CanBc-1 was transmissible and the 3.0-kb dsRNA was involved in the transmission of hypovirulence. Analysis of a 920-bp cDNA sequence generated from the 3.0-kb dsRNA of CanBc-1 indicated that the dsRNA element was a mycovirus, designated as B. cinerea debilitation-related virus (BcDRV). Further analyses showed that BcDRV is closely related to Ophiostoma mitovirus 3b infecting O. novo-ulmi, the causal agent of Dutch elm disease. Mitochondria and cytoplasm in hyphal cells of CanBc-1 became degenerated, compared with the virulent isolate CanBc-1c-66 of B cinerea. This is the first report on the occurrence of Mitovirus-associated hypovirulence in B. cinerea.

Additional keywords:gray mold.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society