Examination of an isolate of Potato leaf roll virus that does not induce visible symptoms in the greenhouse
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Over the last 30 years the importance of Potato leaf roll virus (PLRV) in commercial potato and seed potato production has decreased considerably. Since PLRV is transmitted by aphids in a persistent manner it can be controlled by applying a systemic insecticide. However, the development of insecticide resistance in the main vectors of PLRV Myzus persicae, Aulacorthum solani, Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon, Aphis fabae, A. nasturtii, A. frangulae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae, and the development of isolates of PLRV that do not induce visible symptoms in some potato cultivars may lead to a resurgence in the significance of PLRV. Isolates of this type were found repeatedly during growing-on tests in Lower Saxony, Germany. In this study we examined such a symptomless isolate. The visible symptoms induced by this isolate in different potato cultivars were compared with those induced by isolates causing typical symptoms of a PLRV infection. By using quantitative real-time PCR the quantifiable amount of viral RNA was determined. Under climate chamber conditions all the isolates tested induced similar symptoms and did not differ in viral RNA content. Complete sequences for the tested isolates were obtained and used in a phylogenetic analysis. All the PLRV isolates compared were very similar at the molecular level. Several motifs that could play a role in symptom expression were analyzed, but none of them were correlated with the absence of symptoms in potato plants during growing-on tests. The discrepancy between the observations recorded in the growing-on tests and our experiments are discussed.
KeywordsPLRV Cultivars Growing-on test RT-qPCR UV-radiation
This work was supported by a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (03WKBN05A). We are indebted to Peter Steinbach and Volker Zahn for supplying the PLRV isolates JokerMV10 and SymlessLS10, respectively. We thank Edgar Schliephake for providing the Myzus persicae clone that was used to establish the stock culture used in this research. Thanks are also due to Volker Zahn, Stefan Krüssel, Gunter Aßmann, Martin Verbeek and Gé W. van den Bovenkamp of the plant protection services in Germany and the Netherlands for information on the occurence of M. persicae and PLRV infections in potato production areas in Europe. The authors greatly appreciate the technical assistence of Doreen Günzke and André Stumpe. We also thank Prof. A. F. G. Dixon for critical reading of the manuscript and especially for improving the English language.
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