Agroinoculation of the Crinivirus, Lettuce infectious yellows virus, for systemic plant infection
Lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV) is phloem-limited, non-mechanically transmissible, and is transmitted to plants only by Bemisia tabaci. Here, we developed agroinoculation to deliver LIYV to plants thereby obviating the need for B. tabaci. Agroinfiltration of RNA 1 containing a green fluorescent protein gene into Nicotiana benthamiana leaves resulted in subliminal infections, as judged by green fluorescence. Agroinfiltration of LIYV wild-type RNA 1 and 2 constructs resulted in systemic infections in N. benthamiana plants and typical LIYV symptoms. In addition, partially purified LIYV virions from agroinoculated N. benthamiana plants were successfully acquired via membrane-feeding and transmitted to lettuce plants by B. tabaci. Agroinoculation coupled with targeted mutagenesis technologies will greatly enhance LIYV reverse genetics studies to characterize LIYV gene functions in planta for processes such as virus replication, recombination, trafficking, symptom elicitation and virus-vector interactions.
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