Send to

Choose Destination
Virology. 1998 Oct 25;250(2):283-92.

Asymmetric infectivity of pseudorecombinants of cabbage leaf curl virus and squash leaf curl virus: implications for bipartite geminivirus evolution and movement.

Author information

Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA.


The bipartite geminiviruses squash leaf curl virus (SqLCV) and cabbage leaf curl virus (CLCV) have distinct host ranges. SqLCV infects a broad range of plants within the Cucurbitaceae, including pumpkin and squash, and CLCV has a broad host range within Brassicaceae that includes cabbage and Arabidopsis thaliana. Despite this, the genomic A components of these viruses share a high degree of sequence identity, particularly in the gene encoding the replication protein AL1, and their common regions are 77% identical. However, there is unexpected sequence diversity in the common regions of the two CLCV genomic A and B components, these being only 80% identical. Based on these sequence similarities, we investigated the host range properties of pseudorecombinants of SqLCV and CLCV. We found that in a pseudorecombinant virus consisting of the A component of CLCV and the B component of SqLCV, both components replicated in tobacco protoplasts, and this pseudorecombinant was infectious and caused systemic disease in Nicotiana benthamiana, a common host to all bipartite geminiviruses. However, this pseudorecombinant did not move systemically in pumpkin or Arabidopsis, despite the demonstrated replication compatibility of the genome components. As a result of the greater sequence differences between the common regions, the pseudorecombinant of SqLCV A and CLCV B components neither replicated the CLCV B component nor systemically infected any of the hosts tested. These findings demonstrate that for different geminiviruses with distinct host ranges, the replication origins and AL1 proteins can be sufficiently similar to permit infectious pseudorecombinants, but replication alone is not sufficient to cause systemic disease, and host range may ultimately be limited at the level of movement. The results of this study further suggest that CLCV is an evolving virus that can provide insights into how new bipartite geminiviruses arise from mixed infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center