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Challenges to elucidating how endornaviruses influence fungal hosts: Creating mycovirus-free isogenic fungal lines and testing them

Cao, C., Li, H., Jones, M.G.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-5002-0227 and Wylie, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-5639-7460 (2019) Challenges to elucidating how endornaviruses influence fungal hosts: Creating mycovirus-free isogenic fungal lines and testing them. Journal of Virological Methods, 274 . Article 113745.

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Determining roles of mycoviruses in fungal biology is complicated, especially when fungi are co-infected with multiple viruses. Genetically identical (isogenic) fungal lines that are infected by and not infected by viruses must be created and compared. Here, we study an isolate of Ceratobasidium sp., a fungus isolated from pelotons in roots of a wild terrestrial orchid. The fungal isolate was co-infected with three distinct endornaviruses, isolates of Ceratobasidium endonarvirus B (CbEVB), Ceratobasidium endonarvirus C (CbEVC) and Ceratobasidium endonarvirus D (CbEVD). An experiment to reveal natural distribution of the three mycoviruses within a fungal colony revealed no sectoring; they were all evenly distributed throughout the colony. Hyphal tipping and treatments with one of five antibiotics (kanamycin, streptomycin, cycloheximide, rifampicin and ampicillin) were applied in attempts to ‘cure’ fungal lines of one, two or three of the viruses present. Surprisingly, the three mycoviruses responded differentially to each curing approach. The isolate of CbEVC was eliminated upon treatment with cycloheximide, but not with kanamycin or streptomycin, whereas the isolate of CbEVD did not respond to cycloheximide. The isolate of CbEVB was eliminated upon all treatments. In some cases, a virus was undetectable by species-specific RT-PCR assay after treatment, but when the fungus was cultured for a period on non-selective medium, the virus was detected again. Effects of mycoviruses on growth characteristics of isogenic fungal lines on two nutrient media were studied. Co-infection by the three viruses reduced mycelial growth rate on both media. In contrast, some fungal lines infected with one or two mycoviruses grew more rapidly than virus-free lines.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
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