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Adaptation of Tobacco etch potyvirus to a susceptible ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana capacitates it for systemic infection of other resistant ecotypes

AuthorsLalic, Jasna ; Agudelo-Romero, Patricia ; Carrasco, Purificación ; Elena, Santiago F.
Keywordsvirus evolution
emerging viruses
local adaptation
Tobacco etch virus
Issue Date17-May-2010
PublisherRoyal Society (Great Britain)
CitationPhilosophical Transactions - B - Biological Sciences
SeriesPhil. Trans. R. Soc. B
365: 1997-2008
AbstractViral pathogens continue to emerge among humans, domesticated animals and cultivated crops. The existence of genetic variance for resistance in the host population is crucial to the spread of an emerging virus. Models predict that rapid spread decreases with the frequency and diversity of resistance alleles in the host population. However, empirical tests of this hypothesis are scarce. Arabiodpsis thaliana – Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) provides an experimentally suitable pathosystem for explore the interplay between genetic variation in host’s susceptibility and virus diversity. Systemic infection of A. thaliana with TEV is controlled by three dominant loci, with different ecotypes varying in susceptibility depending on the genetic constitution at these three loci. Here, we show that TEV adaptation to a susceptible ecotype allowed the virus to successfully infect, replicate and induce symptoms in ecotypes that were fully resistant to the ancestral virus. The value of these results is two-fold. First, we showed that the existence of partially susceptible individuals allows for the emerging virus to bypass resistance alleles that the virus has never encountered. Second, the concept of resistance genes may only be valid for a well-defined viral genotype but not for polymorphic viral populations.
Publisher version (URL)http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1548/1997.full.pdf+html
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