Association of a novel DNA virus with the grapevine vein-clearing and vine decline syndrome


A severe vein-clearing and vine decline syndrome has emerged on grapevines (Vitis vinifera) and hybrid grape cultivars in the Midwest region of the United States. The typical symptoms are translucent veinclearing on young leaves, short internodes and decline of vine vigor. Known viral pathogens of grapevines were not closely associated with the syndrome. To obtain a comprehensive profile of viruses in a diseased grapevine, small RNAs were enriched and two cDNA libraries were constructed from a symptomatic grapevine and a symptomless grapevine, respectively. Deep sequencing of the two cDNA libraries showed that the most abundant viral small RNAs align with the genomes of viruses in the genus Badnavirus, the family Caulimoviridae. Amplification of the viral DNA by polymerase chain reaction allowed the assembly of the whole genome sequence of a grapevine DNA virus, which shared the highest homology with the Badnavirus sequences. This is the first report of a DNA virus in grapevines. The new DNA virus is closely associated with the vein-clearing symptom, and thus has been given a provisional name Grapevine vein clearing virus (GVCV). GVCV was detected in six grapevine cultivars showing vein-clearing and vine decline syndrome in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, suggesting its wide distribution in the Midwest region of the United States. Discovery of DNA viruses in grapevines merits further studies on their epidemics and economic impact on grape production worldwide.


Center for Grapevine Biotechnology
Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

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