Genetic and phenotypic characterization of Grapevine vein clearing virus from wild Vitis rupestris


Grapevine vein clearing virus (GVCV), a new member of the genus Badnavirus in the family Caulimoviridae, is associated with a vein clearing and vine decline disease that severely affects grape production and berry quality in commercial vineyards in the Midwest region of the United States. In this paper, the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of GVCV-VRU1 and GVCV-VRU2, two isolates from wild Vitis rupestris grapevines in their native habitat, are described. The GVCV-VRU1 genome is 7,755 bp long while the GVCV-VRU2 genome consists of 7,725 bp, both of which are different from the genome of the GVCV-CHA isolate (7,753 bp), which was originally discovered in the grape cultivar 'Chardonel'. The nucleotide sequence identity among GVCV-VRU1, GVCV-VRU2, and GVCV-CHA ranges from 91.6 to 93.4%, and open reading frame (ORF) II is the most divergent ORF with only 83.3 to 88.5% identity. Sequence analysis of the ORF II indicated that GVCV isolates genetically similar to GVCV-VRU1 and GVCV-VRU2 also are present in commercial vineyards. Symptoms of GVCV-VRU1- or GVCV-VRU2-infected wild V. rupestris grapevine appeared initially as translucent vein clearing on young leaves and progressed to vein necrosis on mature leaves. Inoculation of GVCV-VRU1 or GVCVVRU2 by grafting onto grape cultivar Chardonel resulted in mild mottle and leaf distortion. The natural range of wild V. rupestris grapevines overlaps with commercial vineyards in the Midwestern United States. Therefore, the discovery of GVCV isolates in wild V. rupestris grapevines has important implications for epidemics and management of the GVCVassociated disease.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

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