Virulence evolution of a sterilizing plant virus: Tuning multiplication and resource exploitation.
ABSTRACT: Virulence evolution may have far-reaching consequences for virus epidemiology and emergence, and virologists have devoted increasing effort to understand the modulators of this process. However, still little is known on the mechanisms and determinants of virulence evolution in sterilizing viruses that, as they prevent host reproduction, may have devastating effects on host populations. Theory predicts that sterilizing parasites, including viruses, would evolve towards lower virulence and absolute host sterilization to optimize the exploitation of host resources and maximize fitness. However, this hypothesis has seldom been analyzed experimentally. We investigated the evolution of virulence of the sterilizing plant virus Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) in its natural host Arabidopsis thaliana by serial passage experiments. After passaging, we quantified virus accumulation and infectivity, the effect of infection on plant growth and development, and virulence of the ancestral and passaged viral genotypes in A. thaliana. Results indicated that serial passaging increased the proportion of infected plants showing absolute sterility, reduced TuMV virulence, and increased virus multiplication and infectivity. Genomic comparison of the ancestral and passaged TuMV genotypes identified significant mutation clustering in the P1, P3, and 6K2 proteins, suggesting a role of these viral proteins in the observed phenotypic changes. Our results support theoretical predictions on the evolution of virulence of sterilizing parasites and contribute to better understand the phenotypic and genetic changes associated with this process.
Project description:For the last three decades, evolutionary biologists have sought to understand which factors modulate the evolution of parasite virulence. Although theory has identified several of these modulators, their effect has seldom been analysed experimentally. We investigated the role of two such major factors-the mode of transmission, and host adaptation in response to parasite evolution-in the evolution of virulence of the plant virus Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in its natural host Arabidopsis thaliana. To do so, we serially passaged three CMV strains under strict vertical and strict horizontal transmission, alternating both modes of transmission. We quantified seed (vertical) transmission rate, virus accumulation, effect on plant growth and virulence of evolved and non-evolved viruses in the original plants and in plants derived after five passages of vertical transmission. Our results indicated that vertical passaging led to adaptation of the virus to greater vertical transmission, which was associated with reductions of virus accumulation and virulence. On the other hand, horizontal serial passages did not significantly modify virus accumulation and virulence. The observed increases in CMV seed transmission, and reductions in virus accumulation and virulence in vertically passaged viruses were due also to reciprocal host adaptation during vertical passages, which additionally reduced virulence and multiplication of vertically passaged viruses. This result is consistent with plant-virus co-evolution. Host adaptation to vertically passaged viruses was traded-off against reduced resistance to the non-evolved viruses. Thus, we provide evidence of the key role that the interplay between mode of transmission and host-parasite co-evolution has in determining the evolution of virulence.
Project description:Predicting viral emergence is difficult due to the stochastic nature of the underlying processes and the many factors that govern pathogen evolution. Environmental factors affecting the host, the pathogen and the interaction between both are key in emergence. In particular, infectious disease dynamics are affected by spatiotemporal heterogeneity in their environments. A broad knowledge of these factors will allow better estimating where and when viral emergence is more likely to occur. Here, we investigate how the population structure for susceptibility-to-infection genes of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana shapes the evolution of Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV). For doing so we have evolved TuMV lineages in two radically different host population structures: (1) a metapopulation subdivided into six demes (subpopulations); each one being composed of individuals from only one of six possible A. thaliana ecotypes and (2) a well-mixed population constituted by equal number of plants from the same six A. thaliana ecotypes. These two populations were evolved for twelve serial passages. At the end of the experimental evolution, we found faster adaptation of TuMV to each ecotype in the metapopulation than in the well-mixed heterogeneous host populations. However, viruses evolved in well-mixed populations were more pathogenic and infectious than viruses evolved in the metapopulation. Furthermore, the viruses evolved in the demes showed stronger signatures of local specialization than viruses evolved in the well-mixed populations. These results illustrate how the genetic diversity of hosts in an experimental ecosystem favors the evolution of virulence of a pathogen.
Project description:Although accumulating evidence indicates that tolerance is a plant defence strategy against pathogens as widespread as resistance, how plants evolve tolerance is poorly understood. Theory predicts that hosts will evolve to maximize tolerance or resistance, but not both. Remarkably, most experimental works failed in finding this trade-off. We tested the hypothesis that the evolution of tolerance to one virus is traded-off against tolerance to others, rather than against resistance and identified the associated mechanisms. To do so, we challenged eighteen Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes with Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). We characterized plant life-history trait modifications associated with reduced effects of TuMV and CMV on plant seed production (fecundity tolerance) and life period (mortality tolerance), both measured as a norm of reaction across viral loads (range tolerance). Also, we analysed resistance-tolerance and tolerance-tolerance trade-offs. Results indicate that tolerance to TuMV is associated with changes in the length of the pre-reproductive and reproductive periods, and tolerance to CMV with resource reallocation from growth to reproduction; and that tolerance to TuMV is traded-off against tolerance to CMV in a virulence-dependent manner. Thus, this work provides novel insights on the mechanisms of plant tolerance and highlights the importance of considering the combined effect of different pathogens to understand how plant defences evolve.
Project description:SUMOylation, which is catalyzed by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) enzymes, is a transient, reversible posttranslational protein modification that regulates diverse cellular processes. Potyviruses, the largest group of known plant viruses, comprise many agriculturally important viruses, such as Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV). The potyviral genome encodes 11 mature proteins. To investigate if SUMOylation plays a role in potyvirus infection, a yeast two-hybrid screen was performed to examine possible interactions of each of the 11 viral proteins of TuMV with AtSCE1, the only SUMO-conjugating enzyme in Arabidopsis thaliana homologous to the key SUMO-conjugating enzyme E2 in mammalian cells or Ubc9 in yeast. A positive reaction was found between AtSCE1 and NIb, the potyviral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Further bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assays revealed that the NIb and AtSCE1 interaction occurred in both the cytoplasm and nuclei of epidermal cells of Nicotiana benthamiana. The interaction motif was mapped to a region encompassing NIb amino acids 171 to 300 which contains a potential negatively charged amino acid-dependent SUMOylation motif (NDSM). An Escherichia coli SUMOylation assay showed that NIb can be SUMOylated and that the lysine residue (K172) in the motif is a potent SUMOylation site. A TuMV infectious clone with an arginine (R) substitution mutation at K172 compromised TuMV infectivity in plants. In comparison with wild-type Arabidopsis plants, sce1 knockdown plants exhibited increased resistance to TuMV as well as a nonrelated RNA virus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing that the host SUMO modification system plays an essential role in infection by plant RNA viruses.
Project description:Wolbachia is an intracellular endosymbiont of insects that inhibits the replication of a range of pathogens in its arthropod hosts. The release of Wolbachia into wild populations of mosquitoes is an innovative biocontrol effort to suppress the transmission of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) to humans, most notably dengue virus. The success of the Wolbachia-based approach hinges upon the stable persistence of the 'pathogen blocking' effect, whose mechanistic basis is poorly understood. Evidence suggests that Wolbachia may affect viral replication via a combination of competition for host resources and activation of host immunity. The evolution of resistance against Wolbachia and pathogen blocking in the mosquito or the virus could reduce the public health impact of the symbiont releases. Here, we investigate if dengue 3 virus (DENV-3) is capable of accumulating adaptive mutations that improve its replicative capacity during serial passage in Wolbachia wMel-infected cells. During the passaging regime, viral isolates in Wolbachia-infected cells exhibited greater variation in viral loads compared to controls. The viral loads of these isolates declined rapidly during passaging due to the blocking effects of Wolbachia carriage, with several being lost all together and the remainder recovering to low but stable levels. We attempted to sequence the genomes of the surviving passaged isolates but, given their low abundance, were unable to obtain sufficient depth of coverage for evolutionary analysis. In contrast, viral loads in Wolbachia-free control cells were consistently high during passaging. The surviving isolates passaged in the presence of Wolbachia exhibited a reduced ability to replicate even in Wolbachia-free cells. These experiments demonstrate the challenge for dengue in evolving resistance to Wolbachia-mediated blocking.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pseudorabies virus (PRV) of the family Herpesviridae is the causative agent of Aujeszky's disease. Attenuation of PRV by serial passaging in vitro is a well-established method; however, the dynamic variations occurring on viral genome during this process have not been characterized. METHODS:Genome sequencing and comparative genomic analyses of a virulent pseudorabies virus and a series of its plaque-purified strains via serial passaging in vitro were performed, and the properties in vitro and in vivo of which were further characterized. RESULTS:Compared to the parental virus, replication in vitro was enhanced in the highly passaged F50, F91, and F120. In contrast, lethality in mice decreased gradually with passage number. Genome sequencing of F50, F91, and F120 showed deletion of a large fragment containing gE, which is likely related to their attenuation. In addition, single nucleotide variations were identified in many genes of F50, F91, and F120. In-frame and frameshift indels were also detected in specific genes of passaged strains. Particularly frameshift mutations were observed in highly passaged strains, resulting in a truncated but overexpressed pUL46. CONCLUSION:During attenuation of PRV by serial passaging in Vero cells, dynamic variation patterns including a large deletion, single nucleotide variations, small in-frame indels, and also frameshifts mutations successively emerged, contributing to evolution of the viral population and enabling the gradual attenuation of the virus. These data provide clues to better understand PRV attenuation during passaging.
Project description:A biotechnological application of artificial microRNAs (amiRs) is the generation of plants that are resistant to virus infection. This resistance has proven to be highly effective and sequence specific. However, before these transgenic plants can be deployed in the field, it is important to evaluate the likelihood of the emergence of resistance-breaking mutants. Two issues are of particular interest: (i) whether such mutants can arise in nontransgenic plants that may act as reservoirs and (ii) whether a suboptimal expression level of the transgene, resulting in subinhibitory concentrations of the amiR, would favor the emergence of escape mutants. To address the first issue, we experimentally evolved independent lineages of Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) (family Potyviridae) in fully susceptible wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana plants and then simulated the spillover of the evolving virus to fully resistant A. thaliana transgenic plants. To address the second issue, the evolution phase took place with transgenic plants that expressed the amiR at subinhibitory concentrations. Our results show that TuMV populations replicating in susceptible hosts accumulated resistance-breaking alleles that resulted in the overcoming of the resistance of fully resistant plants. The rate at which resistance was broken was 7 times higher for TuMV populations that experienced subinhibitory concentrations of the antiviral amiR. A molecular characterization of escape alleles showed that they all contained at least one nucleotide substitution in the target sequence, generally a transition of the G-to-A and C-to-U types, with many instances of convergent molecular evolution. To better understand the viral population dynamics taking place within each host, as well as to evaluate relevant population genetic parameters, we performed in silico simulations of the experiments. Together, our results contribute to the rational management of amiR-based antiviral resistance in plants.
Project description:Increased light intensity has been predicted as a major consequence of climate change. Light intensity is a critical resource involved in many plant processes, including the interaction with viruses. A central question to plant-virus interactions is understanding the determinants of virus dispersal among plants. However, very little is known on the effect of environmental factors on virus transmission, particularly through seeds. The fitness of seed-transmitted viruses is highly dependent on host reproductive potential, and requires higher virus multiplication in reproductive organs. Thus, environmental conditions that favor reduced virus virulence without controlling its level of within-plant multiplication (i.e., tolerance) may enhance seed transmission. We tested the hypothesis that light intensity conditions that enhance plant tolerance promote virus seed transmission. To do so, we challenged 18 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions with Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) under high and low light intensity. Results indicated that higher light intensity increased TuMV multiplication and/or plant tolerance, which was associated with more efficient seed transmission. Conversely, higher light intensity reduced plant tolerance and CMV multiplication, and had no effect on seed transmission. This work provides novel insights on how environmental factors modulate plant virus transmission and contributes to understand the underlying processes.
Project description:Endocytosis and endosomal trafficking regulate the proteins targeted to the plasma membrane and play essential roles in diverse cellular processes, including responses to pathogen attack. Here, we report the identification of Glycine max (soybean) endocytosis dynamin-like protein 5A (GmSDL5A) associated with purified soybean mosaic virus (SMV) virions from soybean using a bottom-up proteomics approach. Knockdown of GmSDL5A and its homologous gene GmSDL12A inhibits SMV infection in soybean. The role of analogous dynamin-like proteins in potyvirus infection was further confirmed and investigated using the Arabidopsis/turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) pathosystem. We demonstrate that dynamin-related proteins 2A and 2B in Arabidopsis thaliana (AtDRP2A, AtDRP2B), homologs of GmSDL5A, are recruited to the virus replication complex (VRC) of TuMV. TuMV infection is inhibited in both A. thaliana drp2a (atdrp2a) and atdrp2b knockout mutants. Overexpression of AtDRP2 promotes TuMV replication and intercellular movement. AtRDP2 interacts with TuMV VPg, CP, CI, and 6K2. Of these viral proteins, VPg, CP, and CI are essential for viral intercellular movement, and 6K2, VPg, and CI are critical components of the VRC. We reveal that VPg and CI are present in the punctate structures labeled by the endocytic tracer FM4-64, suggesting that VPg and CI can be endocytosed. Treatment of plant leaves with a dynamin-specific inhibitor disrupts the delivery of VPg and CI to endocytic structures and suppresses TuMV replication and intercellular movement. Taken together, these data suggest that dynamin-like proteins are novel host factors of potyviruses and that endocytic processes are involved in potyvirus infection.IMPORTANCE It is well known that animal viruses enter host cells via endocytosis, whereas plant viruses require physical assistance, such as human and insect activities, to penetrate the host cell to establish their infection. In this study, we report that the endocytosis pathway is also involved in virus infection in plants. We show that plant potyviruses recruit endocytosis dynamin-like proteins to support their infection. Depletion of them by knockout of the corresponding genes suppresses virus replication, whereas overexpression of them enhances virus replication and intercellular movement. We also demonstrate that the dynamin-like proteins interact with several viral proteins that are essential for virus replication and cell-to-cell movement. We further show that treatment of a dynamin-specific inhibitor disrupts endocytosis and inhibits virus replication and intercellular movement. Therefore, the dynamin-like proteins are novel host factors of potyviruses. The corresponding genes may be manipulated using advanced biotechnology to control potyviral diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pipo was recently described as a new ORF encoded within the genome of the Potyviridae family members (PNAS 105:5897-5902, 2008). It is embedded within the P3 cistron and is translated in the +2 reading frame relative to the potyviral long ORF as the P3N-PIPO fusion protein. In this work, we first collected pipo nucleotide sequences available for different isolates of 48 Potyvirus species. Second, to determine the biological implications of variation in pipo length, we measured infectivity, viral accumulation, cell-to-cell and systemic movements for two Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) variants with pipo alleles of different length in three different susceptible host species, and tested for differences between the two variants. RESULTS:In addition to inter-specific variation, there was high variation in the length of the PIPO protein among isolates within species (ranging from 1 to 89 amino acids). Furthermore, selection analyses on the P3 cistron did not account for the existence of stop codons in the pipo ORF, but showed that positive selection was significant in the overlapping region for Potato virus Y (PVY) and TuMV. In some cases, variability in length was associated with host species, geographic provenance and/or other strain features. We found significant empirical differences among the phenotypes associated with TuMV pipo alleles, though the magnitude and sign of the effects were host-dependent. CONCLUSIONS:The combination of computational molecular evolution analyses and experiments stemming from these analyses provide clues about the selective pressures acting upon the different-length pipo alleles and show that variation in length may be maintained by host-driven selection.