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Partitiviruses of a fungal forest pathogen have species-specific quantities of genome segments and transcripts

DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2014.05.021
  • Heterobasidion Annosum Sensu Lato
  • Mycovirus
  • Partitivirus
  • Dsrna
  • Quantitative Pcr
  • Biology


Abstract Heterobasidion partitiviruses infect forest pathogenic fungi of the genus Heterobasidion. We have studied the amounts of genomes and transcripts of four partitiviruses isolated from four different Heterobasidion strains infecting different host trees in Greece, Poland, Finland, and China. Heterobasidion partitiviruses have bisegmented genomes encoding coat protein and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Our results show that the coat protein genome segment is generally more abundant in infected mycelia than the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase segment and that this bias persists also at transcript levels. The different virus species all have unique ratios of the genome segments and the ratio is generally stable over different temperatures and hosts. The amounts of transcripts of each virus respond to host growth temperatures in a distinctive and consistent manner. The Heterobasidion partitiviruses studied here affect only rarely the growth of their natural hosts but do influence the growth of a new host more frequently.

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