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Mycoviruses infection rate quantification using NovoCyte flow cytometer

May 31, 2017

Mycoviruses are usually transmitted horizontally via hyphal anastomosis and vertically via sexual/asexual spores. Previously, we reported that a gemycircularvirus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirulence-associated DNA virus 1 (SsHADV-1), could infect its fungal host extracellularly. Here, we discovered that SsHADV-1 could infect a mycophagous insect, Lycoriella ingenua, and use it as a transmission vector. Virus acquired by larvae feeding on colonies of a virus-infected strain of S. sclerotiorum was replicated and retained in larvae, pupae, adults, and eggs. Virus could be transmitted to insect offspring when larvae were injected with virus particles and allowed to feed on a nonhost fungus. Virus replication in insect cells was further confirmed by inoculating Spodoptera frugiperda cells with virus particles and analyzing with RT-PCR, Northern blot, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry assays. Immunofluorescence reaction was observed under a confocal microscope,  and infection rates of cells were counted by NovoCyte flow cytometer. Larvae could transmit virus once they acquired virus by feeding on virus-infected fungal colony. Offspring larvae hatched from viruliferous eggs were virus carriers and could also successfully transmit virus. Virus transmission between insect and fungus also occurred on rapeseed plants. Virus-infected isolates produced less repellent volatile substances to attract adults of L. ingenua. Furthermore, L. ingenua was easily observed on Sclerotinia lesions in rapeseed fields, and viruliferous adults were captured from fields either sprayed with a virus-infected fungal strain or nonsprayed. Our findings may facilitate the exploration of mycoviruses for control of fungal diseases and enhance our understanding of the ecology of SsHADV-1 and other newly emerging SsHADV-1–like viruses, which were recently found to be widespread in various niches including human HIV-infected blood, human and animal feces, insects, plants, and even sewage.

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