Within-Host Multiplication and Speed of Colonization as Infection Traits Associated with Plant Virus Vertical Transmission.
ABSTRACT: Although vertical transmission from parents to offspring through seeds is an important fitness component of many plant viruses, very little is known about the factors affecting this process. Viruses reach the seed by direct invasion of the embryo and/or by infection of the ovules or the pollen. Thus, it can be expected that the efficiency of seed transmission would be determined by (i) virus within-host multiplication and movement, (ii) the ability of the virus to invade gametic tissues, (iii) plant seed production upon infection, and (iv) seed survival in the presence of the virus. However, these predictions have seldom been experimentally tested. To address this question, we challenged 18 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions with Turnip mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus Using these plant-virus interactions, we analyzed the relationship between the effect of virus infection on rosette and inflorescence weights; short-, medium-, and long-term seed survival; virulence; the number of seeds produced per plant; virus within-host speed of movement; virus accumulation in the rosette and inflorescence; and efficiency of seed transmission measured as a percentage and as the total number of infected seeds. Our results indicate that the best estimators of percent seed transmission are the within-host speed of movement and multiplication in the inflorescence. Together with these two infection traits, virulence and the number of seeds produced per infected plant were also associated with the number of infected seeds. Our results provide support for theoretical predictions and contribute to an understanding of the determinants of a process central to plant-virus interactions.IMPORTANCE One of the major factors contributing to plant virus long-distance dispersal is the global trade of seeds. This is because more than 25% of plant viruses can infect seeds, which are the main mode of germplasm exchange/storage, and start new epidemics in areas where they were not previously present. Despite the relevance of this process for virus epidemiology and disease emergence, the infection traits associated with the efficiency of virus seed transmission are largely unknown. Using turnip mosaic and cucumber mosaic viruses and their natural host Arabidopsis thaliana as model systems, we have identified the within-host speed of virus colonization and multiplication in the reproductive structures as the main determinants of the efficiency of seed transmission. These results contribute to shedding light on the mechanisms by which plant viruses disperse and optimize their fitness and may help in the design of more-efficient strategies to prevent seed infection.
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:<h4>Background</h4>Virulence does not represent any obvious advantage to parasites. Most models of virulence evolution assume that virulence is an unavoidable consequence of within-host multiplication of parasites, resulting in trade-offs between within-host multiplication and between-host transmission fitness components. Experimental support for the central assumption of this hypothesis, i.e., for a positive correlation between within-host multiplication rates and virulence, is limited for plant-parasite systems.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We have addressed this issue in the system Arabidopsis thaliana-Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). Virus multiplication and the effect of infection on plant growth and on viable seed production were quantified for 21 Arabidopsis wild genotypes infected by 3 CMV isolates. The effect of infection on plant growth and seed production depended of plant architecture and length of postembryonic life cycle, two genetically-determined traits, as well as on the time of infection in the plant's life cycle. A relationship between virus multiplication and virulence was not a general feature of this host-parasite system. This could be explained by tolerance mechanisms determined by the host genotype and operating differently on two components of plant fitness, biomass production and resource allocation to seeds. However, a positive relationship between virus multiplication and virulence was detected for some accessions with short life cycle and high seed weight to biomass ratio, which show lower levels of tolerance to infection.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>These results show that genotype-specific tolerance mechanisms may lead to the absence of a clear relationship between parasite multiplication and virulence. Furthermore, a positive correlation between parasite multiplication and virulence may occur only in some genotypes and/or environmental conditions for a given host-parasite system. Thus, our results challenge the general validity of the trade-off hypothesis for virulence evolution, and stress the need of considering the effect of both the host and parasite genotypes in analyses of host-parasite interactions.
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:The effective size of populations (Ne) determines whether selection or genetic drift is the predominant force shaping their genetic structure and evolution. Populations having high Ne adapt faster, as selection acts more intensely, than populations having low Ne, where random effects of genetic drift dominate. Estimating Ne for various steps of plant virus life cycle has been the focus of several studies in the last decade, but no estimates are available for the vertical transmission of plant viruses, although virus seed transmission is economically significant in at least 18% of plant viruses in at least one plant species. Here we study the co-dynamics of two variants of Pea seedborne mosaic virus (PSbMV) colonizing leaves of pea plants (Pisum sativum L.) during the whole flowering period, and their subsequent transmission to plant progeny through seeds. Whereas classical estimators of Ne could be used for leaf infection at the systemic level, as virus variants were equally competitive, dedicated stochastic models were needed to estimate Ne during vertical transmission. Very little genetic drift was observed during the infection of apical leaves, with Ne values ranging from 59 to 216. In contrast, a very drastic genetic drift was observed during vertical transmission, with an average number of infectious virus particles contributing to the infection of a seedling from an infected mother plant close to one. A simple model of vertical transmission, assuming a cumulative action of virus infectious particles and a virus density threshold required for vertical transmission to occur fitted the experimental data very satisfactorily. This study reveals that vertically-transmitted viruses endure bottlenecks as narrow as those imposed by horizontal transmission. These bottlenecks are likely to slow down virus adaptation and could decrease virus fitness and virulence.
Project description:Efforts to control viral diseases in crop production include several types of physical or chemical treatments; antiviral extracts of a number of plants have also been examined to inhibit plant viral infection. However, treatments utilizing naturally selected microorganisms with activity against plant viruses are poorly documented. Here we report isolation of a soil inhabiting bacterium, Pseudomonas oleovorans strain KBPF-004 (developmental code KNF2016) which showed antiviral activity against mechanical transmission of tobamoviruses. Antiviral activity was also evaluated in seed transmission of two tobamoviruses, Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) and Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV), by treatment of seed collected from infected pepper and watermelon, respectively. Pepper and watermelon seeds were treated with culture supernatant of P. oleovorans strain KBPF-004 or control strain ATCC 8062 before planting. Seeds germinated after treatment with water or ATCC 8062 yielded about 60% CGMMV or PMMoV positive plants, whereas < 20% of KBPF-004-treated seeds were virus-infected, a significantly reduced seed transmission rate. Furthermore, supernatant of P. oleovorans strain KBPF-004 remodeled aggregation of PMMoV 126 kDa protein and subcellular localization of movement protein in Nicotiana benthamiana, diminishing aggregation of the 126 kDa protein and essentially abolishing association of the movement protein with the microtubule network. In leaves agroinfiltrated with constructs expressing the coat protein (CP) of either PMMoV or CGMMV, less full-size CP was detected in the presence of supernatant of P. oleovorans strain KBPF-004. These changes may contribute to the antiviral effects of P. oleovorans strain KBPF-004.
Project description:Plant viruses often harm their hosts, which have developed mechanisms to prevent or minimize the effects of virus infection. Resistance and tolerance are the two main plant defences to pathogens. Although resistance to plant viruses has been studied extensively, tolerance has received much less attention. Theory predicts that tolerance to low-virulent parasites would be achieved through resource reallocation from growth to reproduction, whereas tolerance to high-virulent parasites would be attained through shortening of the pre-reproductive period. We have shown previously that the tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana to Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), a relatively low-virulent virus in this host, accords to these predictions. However, whether other viruses trigger the same response, and how A. thaliana copes with highly virulent virus infections remains unexplored. To address these questions, we challenged six A. thaliana wild genotypes with five viruses with different genomic structures, life histories and transmission modes. In these plants, we quantified virus multiplication, virulence, and the effects of infection on plant growth and reproduction, and on the developmental schedule. Our results indicate that virus multiplication varies according to the virus × host genotype interaction. Conversely, effective tolerance is observed only on CMV infection, and is associated with resource reallocation from growth to reproduction. Tolerance to the other viruses is observed only in specific host-virus combinations and, at odds with theoretical predictions, is linked to longer pre-reproductive periods. These findings only partially agree with theoretical predictions, and contribute to a better understanding of pathogenic processes in plant-virus interactions.
Project description:Modelling virulence evolution of multihost parasites in heterogeneous host systems requires knowledge of the parasite biology over its various hosts. We modelled the evolution of virulence of a generalist plant virus, Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) over two hosts, in which CMV genotypes differ for within-host multiplication and virulence. According to knowledge on CMV biology over different hosts, the model allows for inoculum flows between hosts and for host co-infection by competing virus genotypes, competition affecting transmission rates to new hosts. Parameters of within-host multiplication, within-host competition, virulence and transmission were determined experimentally for different CMV genotypes in each host. Emergence of highly virulent genotypes was predicted to occur as mixed infections, favoured by high vector densities. For most simulated conditions, evolution to high virulence in the more competent Host 1 was little dependent on inoculum flow from Host 2, while in Host 2, it depended on transmission from Host 1. Virulence evolution bifurcated in each host at low, but not at high, vector densities. There was no evidence of between-host trade-offs in CMV life-history traits, at odds with most theoretical assumptions. Predictions agreed with field observations and are relevant for designing control strategies for multihost plant viruses.
Project description:Beet curly top virus (BCTV) and beet curly top Iran virus (BCTIV) are known as the causal agents of curly top disease in beet and several other dicotyledonous plants in Iran. These viruses are transmitted by Circulifer species, and until now, there has been no confirmed report of their seed transmission. A percentage (38.2-78.0%) of the seedlings developed from the seeds of a petunia local cultivar under insect-free conditions showed stunting, interveinal chlorosis, leaf curling, and vein swelling symptoms, and were infected by BCTV when tested by PCR. Presence of BCTV in seed extracts of petunia local cultivar was confirmed by PCR and IC-PCR, followed by sequencing. Agroinoculation of curly top free petunia plants with a BCTV infectious clone resulted in BCTV infection of plants and their developed seeds. These results show the seed infection and transmission of BCTV in a local cultivar of petunia. Similar experiments performed with BCTIV showed that this virus is also seed transmissible in the same cultivar of petunia, although with a lower rate (8.8-18.5%). Seed transmission of curly top viruses may have significant implications in the epidemiology of these viruses.
Project description:Yellow mosaic disease in field bean caused by begomoviruses belonging to the family Geminiviridae is a major threat to the cultivation of crop in South India. Appearance of bright yellow mosaic symptom in emerging seedlings in farmers field was suggestive of seed transmission of the begomovirus associated with the disease which was investigated in the present study. The begomovirus causing yellow mosaic disease was identified as dolichos yellow mosaic virus (DoYMV) and the presence of DoYMV in matured seeds was confirmed by DAS-ELISA with OD value up to 3.268. In PCR with DoYMV specific primer (DoYMV-CP) the virus was detected in different parts of the seeds viz., seed coat, endosperm and embryo. In embryo the virus was detectable up to 100 per cent followed by endosperm (69.23%). When the non symptomatic leaves of 30 days old grow-out test plants were subjected to DAS-ELISA, the virus was detected up to 46.6%. This is the first evidence of seed transmission of DoYMV.
Project description:Seed size shapes plant evolution and ecosystems, and may be driven by plant size and architecture, dispersers, habitat and insularity. How these factors influence the evolution of giant seeds is unclear, as are the rate of evolution and the biogeographical consequences of giant seeds. We generated DNA and seed size data for the palm tribe Borasseae (Arecaceae) and its relatives, which show a wide diversity in seed size and include the double coconut (Lodoicea maldivica), the largest seed in the world. We inferred their phylogeny, dispersal history and rates of change in seed size, and evaluated the possible influence of plant size, inflorescence branching, habitat and insularity on these changes. Large seeds were involved in 10 oceanic dispersals. Following theoretical predictions, we found that: taller plants with fewer-branched inflorescences produced larger seeds; seed size tended to evolve faster on islands (except Madagascar); and seeds of shade-loving Borasseae tended to be larger. Plant size and inflorescence branching may constrain seed size in Borasseae and their relatives. The possible roles of insularity, habitat and dispersers are difficult to disentangle. Evolutionary contingencies better explain the gigantism of the double coconut than unusually high rates of seed size increase.