USDA Scientists Map Out Key Protein In Vector-Borne Viruses

Aphids

USDA scientists in Ithaca, NY, are collaborating on the development of a technology that could lead to new ways of disrupting how insects transmit viruses to crops.

Michelle Cilia and Stewart Gray at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health in Ithaca, and their colleagues James Bruce and Juan Chavez at the University of Washington, have mapped out the structure of an elusive protein that gives certain plant viruses the ability to travel from plants to insects, through the insects, and back into plants.
 
To move from plant to plant, some viruses, such as potato leafroll virus, need to stay in the infected plant’s phloem tissues so they can be ingested by a feeding aphid. Once inside the aphid, the virus must pass through the insect’s gut and salivary tissues before it can be passed into another plant by the aphid.

To complete that journey, viruses need to assemble into larger packages known as virions. Each virus species is very particular and can only be transmitted by a few species of aphids. The researchers believe the outside shape or topology of the virion plays a major role in that specificity, determining whether a virus will move through the aphid and infect a plant.
 
A minor structural protein of these viruses that extends from the shell of the virion is instrumental in guiding the virion on its journey through the insect and through the plant. But until now, there has been no information about these structural proteins, and such information is crucial to developing new ways of disrupting how they work.

In tests with potato leafroll virus, the researchers used protein interaction reporter (PIR) technology, a tool developed in Bruce’s lab to study protein interactions. Researchers there developed a unique set of chemical compounds, or PIR cross-linkers, which could interact with the structural proteins, allowing scientists to capture a molecular snapshot of them.
 
Coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry, the advanced molecular design of the PIR cross-linkers also allowed the scientists to visualize critical topological features of the virion for the first time. The results, described in a paper in the Journal of Proteome Research, represent a new technology that can take measurements of insect and plant-virus protein interactions in living cells.
 
The researchers have so far focused on luteoviruses spread by aphids. But the technology could one day be used to study other insect-transmitted plant viruses and animal-infecting viruses now difficult to study with traditional methods.

Read more about this research, in the April 2013 issue of Agricultural Research magazine or click here.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Disease Control Stories

BerriesStudy: Strawberry Web Tool Could Save $1.7 Million Over 10 Years In Fungicide Use
August 5, 2014
UF/IFAS researchers find spray advisory system also benefits the bottom line. Read More
Disease ControlDowny Mildew Hits Finger Lakes Grapes
July 29, 2014
Growers also seeing spike in botrytis infections, vine collapses during growing season. Read More
Apples & PearsAn Awakening To The Value Of Biopesticides [Opinion]
July 25, 2014
With the entry of major suppliers into the biopesticide arena, whether or not biopesticides work is no longer the question. Now, people want to understand how they work. Read More
Apples & PearsPGRs: The Overlooked Piece Of The Biopesticides Puzzle
July 25, 2014
Yield and quality can be as important to growers as crop protection. Read More
Crop ProtectionDon’t Let Your Cruciferous Crops Get Beaten By Clubroot
July 23, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
Disease ControlThree Fungal Diseases Discovered In Pacific Northwest Vegetable Crops
July 23, 2014
Black leg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot were discovered in Oregon fields according to reports from Washington State University. Read More
Crop Protection4 Methyl Bromide Alternatives To Consider
July 22, 2014
With the phase-out of the popular soil fumigant, it's important to know you have crop protection options. Read More

The Latest

Disease ControlLate Blight Update Reveals Heightened Activity
August 28, 2014
While several states in the Northeast have confirmed the presence of late blight, the disease has not been reported in North Dakota or Minnesota. Read More
Disease ControlFungal Disease Outbreak Hits Pacific Northwest Vegetabl…
August 27, 2014
An outbreak of blackleg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot can be significant problems in several vegetable crops.   Read More
Disease ControlGrape Disease Bill Presented To California Governor
August 8, 2014
Grower association backs reauthorization of Pierce’s Disease Control Program. Read More
BerriesStudy: Strawberry Web Tool Could Save $1.7 Million Over…
August 5, 2014
UF/IFAS researchers find spray advisory system also benefits the bottom line. Read More
Disease ControlDowny Mildew Hits Finger Lakes Grapes
July 29, 2014
Growers also seeing spike in botrytis infections, vine collapses during growing season. Read More
Apples & PearsAn Awakening To The Value Of Biopesticides [Opinion]
July 25, 2014
With the entry of major suppliers into the biopesticide arena, whether or not biopesticides work is no longer the question. Now, people want to understand how they work. Read More
Apples & PearsPGRs: The Overlooked Piece Of The Biopesticides Puzzle
July 25, 2014
Yield and quality can be as important to growers as crop protection. Read More
Crop ProtectionDon’t Let Your Cruciferous Crops Get Beaten By Cl…
July 23, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
Disease ControlThree Fungal Diseases Discovered In Pacific Northwest V…
July 23, 2014
Black leg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot were discovered in Oregon fields according to reports from Washington State University. Read More
Crop Protection4 Methyl Bromide Alternatives To Consider
July 22, 2014
With the phase-out of the popular soil fumigant, it's important to know you have crop protection options. Read More
Disease ControlOrganic Spinach Symposium Highlights Downy Mildew Threa…
July 9, 2014
The organic spinach symposium, sponsored by Ready Pac Foods, Inc. addressed the sector’s sustainability efforts and concerns that have heightened as downy mildewspreads without treatment options in sight. Read More
Crop ProtectionMSU Researcher Warns Against Quick Spread Of Botrytis G…
July 8, 2014
Annemiek Schilder discusses how to treat the fungus effectively. Read More
Apples & PearsFire Blight Hits Indiana
July 7, 2014
Janna Beckerman of Purdue University details pruning approach, MaryBlyt software updated. Read More
CitrusValent BioSciences Opens New Biorationals Plant In Iowa…
June 27, 2014
Valent BioSciences Corporation's new $146 million biorationals manufacturing facility will supply the majority of the company's products derived from fermentation. Read More
Apples & PearsNew Fungicide From Syngenta Controls Leaf Spots, Apple …
June 20, 2014
Chemistry to be registered for use on a variety of specialty crops including apples, potatoes, grapes, fruiting vegetables, pears, and cucurbits. Read More
CitrusEnable 2F Fungicide Label Expanded For Citrus Black Spo…
June 16, 2014
Product provides another mode of action for resistance management of emerging disease. Read More
Apples & PearsPromising Alternatives To Antibiotic Fire Blight Contro…
June 11, 2014
As organic growers lose their most-common defense against fire blight, research around the country provides resources and options for control of the bacterial disease. Read More
Crop ProtectionPartnership Brings Fruit, Vegetable Fungicide To The U.…
June 10, 2014
Tacoma AG LLC partners with Agria S.A. to introduce Fortuna 75 WDG fungicide. Read More