Identification of Subgenomic DNAs Associated with Wheat Dwarf Virus Infection in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Mollasani, Iran

2 Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Higher Education Center of Eghlid, Eghlid, Iran.


Background: Wheat dwarf virus (WDV) is a leafhopper-transmitted DNA virus which causes yellowing and stunting in wheat and barley fields leading to considerable crop loss around the world. Mainly, two host-specific forms of WDV have been characterized in wheat and barley (WDV-Wheat and WDV-Barley, respectively).
Objectives: This study was aimed to amplify, sequence and describe subgenomic DNAs (sgDNAs) associated with WDV infection among wheat and barley plants. The nucleotide sequence of sgDNAs were then compared to that of parental genomic DNAs (gDNAs) and the differences were shown.
Materials and Methods: A total of 65 symptomatic plants were surveyed for WDV infection using double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Rolling circle amplification followed by restriction analysis (RCA-RA) was applied to identify both gDNAs and sgDNAs in the infected wheat and barley plants. Nucleotide sequence of eight full-length WDV genomes and five sgDNAs were determined.
Results: Genomic sequences of WDV-Wheat and WDV-Barley isolates obtained in this study were identified as WDV-Fand WDV-B, respectively, forming a separate cluster in the phylogenetic tree with the highest bootstrap support (100%). Sequence analysis of sgDNA molecules revealed that they have undergone different mutation events including deletions in viral genes, duplication of coding regions, and insertion of host-derived sequences.
Conclusions: The association of different types of sgDNAs were found in WDV-infected wheat and barley plants. The sgDNAs exhibited remarkable changes compared to their parental molecules and they might play a role in symptom severity, host genome evolution and emergence of new virus variants/species.


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