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

Disease ControlNew Mechanism Developed To Prevent Tomato Wilting
November 3, 2014
The mechanism aids in the resistance and susceptibility of a fungus associated with wilt. Read More
BerriesManage Black Root Rot Of Strawberry
October 30, 2014
Controls include preplant nematode analysis, three-to-five year crop rotations, and more. Read More
CucurbitsFight Phytophthora Blight Of Cucurbits
October 25, 2014
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
Disease ControlWashington Concord Grape Growers Wrestle With Blackleaf
October 23, 2014
Physiological disorder manifested due to unusually hot and sunny summer. Read More
BerriesOnline Strawberry Monitoring System Set To Expand Services
October 8, 2014
After success in Florida, South Carolina growers will soon have access to unique crop protection invention. Read More
BerriesPractice Persistence When Battling Botrytis In Blueberries
September 30, 2014
Cognizance of resistance is key to managing formidable fungus. Read More
Disease ControlNew Findings On Beetle Flight May Help Control Deadly Walnut Tree Disease
September 10, 2014
Pheromone disruption may be the answer in minimizing thousand cankers disease. Read More

The Latest

Crop ProtectionBioSafe Systems Announces Amendment To ZeroTol 2.0 Bact…
December 9, 2014
ZeroTol 2.0 is now labeled for use on fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse. Read More
CucurbitsProblematic Pathogens In Melons And Watermelons
December 3, 2014
Find out how to monitor and control Phytophthora fruit rot, Fusarium wilt, and bacterial fruit blotch. Read More
Disease ControlPH-D Fungicide Now Available For Additional Crops In Ca…
November 11, 2014
Arysta LifeScience receives supplemental label for fungicide for The Golden State. Read More
Disease ControlNew Mechanism Developed To Prevent Tomato Wilting
November 3, 2014
The mechanism aids in the resistance and susceptibility of a fungus associated with wilt. Read More
BerriesManage Black Root Rot Of Strawberry
October 30, 2014
Controls include preplant nematode analysis, three-to-five year crop rotations, and more. Read More
CucurbitsFight Phytophthora Blight Of Cucurbits
October 25, 2014
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
Disease ControlWashington Concord Grape Growers Wrestle With Blackleaf
October 23, 2014
Physiological disorder manifested due to unusually hot and sunny summer. Read More
BerriesOnline Strawberry Monitoring System Set To Expand Servi…
October 8, 2014
After success in Florida, South Carolina growers will soon have access to unique crop protection invention. Read More
BerriesPractice Persistence When Battling Botrytis In Blueberr…
September 30, 2014
Cognizance of resistance is key to managing formidable fungus. Read More
Disease ControlNew Findings On Beetle Flight May Help Control Deadly W…
September 10, 2014
Pheromone disruption may be the answer in minimizing thousand cankers disease. Read More
Disease ControlBeet Curly Top Virus Is An Unpredictable Disease
September 5, 2014
Researchers are trying to determine the conditions that favored the ‘perfect storm’ for beet curly top virus, which caused $100 million in losses last year. Read More
Apples & PearsBeware Of Fruit Rots During Apple Harvest
September 2, 2014
Conditions lately have been ripe for fungi fiasco. Read More
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