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J Virol. 2006 Sep;80(17):8345-50.

Analysis of genetic bottlenecks during horizontal transmission of Cucumber mosaic virus.

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Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.


Genetic bottlenecks may occur in virus populations when only a few individuals are transferred horizontally from one host to another, or when a viral population moves systemically from the infection site. Genetic bottlenecks during the systemic movement of an RNA plant virus population were reported previously (H. Li and M. J. Roossinck, J. Virol. 78:10582-10587, 2004). In this study we mechanically inoculated an artificial population consisting of 12 restriction enzyme marker mutants of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) onto young leaves of squash plants and used two aphid species, Aphis gossypii and Myzus persicae, to transmit the virus populations from infected source plants to healthy squash plants. Horizontal transmission by aphids constituted a significant bottleneck, as the population in the aphid-inoculated plants contained far fewer mutants than the original inoculum source. Additional experiments demonstrated that genetic variation in the artificial population of CMV is not reduced during the acquisition of the virus but is significantly reduced during the inoculation period.

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