Detection and visualization of pospiviroids in potato, Potato leafroll virus and aphids in support of transmission studies

Noémi Van Bogaert, Kris De Jonghe, Martine Maes, guy smagghe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingC3: Conference Abstractpeer-review


    To date, viroids are known as the smallest plant pathogens on earth. In potatoes (S. tuberosum, L.), Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) causes a severe, spindle-like malformation of the tubers and dwarfing, rolling and twisting of the foliage, leading to important agricultural losses [1]. Because of its potential economic impact, PSTVd is a quarantine pest in Europe. Next to PSTVd, also other members of the family Pospiviroidae infect Solanaceous species. Whether these pospiviroids are transmitted in a non-mechanical way through insects is still unclear. In this study, pest species, such as aphids, are tested for viroid presence and transmission by means of techniques such as RT-qPCR and confocal microscopy, and small-scale transmission experiments. Next to direct transmission, there is the possibility that viroid RNA is co-encapsulated within the virion (e.g. Potato leafroll virus, PLRV)[2]. This phenomenon is called trans-encapsidation and might have large epidemiological consequences. Using the virus as a transport vehicle, viroids might ultimately (co-)infect host plants of the virus. Trans-encapsidation can be visualized by means of transmission electron microscopy, or demonstrated via virus purification, micrococcal nuclease treatment and (q)RT-PCR. Here, we give an overview of our results on viroid localization in plants, insects and viruses. Finally, we summarize the epidemiological consequences of this work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAbstract book 19th triennial conference EAPR
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event19th Triennial Conference of the European Association for Potato Research - Merelbeke, Brussel, Belgium
    Duration: 6-Jul-201411-Jul-2014

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