Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



MPMI Vol. 32, No. 4, 2019, pp. 479–490


This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2019.


Panicum mosaic virus (PMV) (genus Panicovirus, family Tombusviridae) and its molecular parasite, Satellite panicum mosaic virus (SPMV), synergistically interact in coinfected proso and pearl millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) plants resulting in a severe symptom phenotype. In this study, we examined synergistic interactions between the isolates of PMV and SPMV by using PMV-NE, PMV85, SPMV-KS, and SPMV-Type as interacting partner viruses in different combinations. Coinfection of proso millet plants by PMV-NE and SPMV-KS elicited severe mosaic, chlorosis, stunting, and eventual plant death compared with moderate mosaic, chlorotic streaks, and stunting by PMV85 and SPMV-Type. In reciprocal combinations, coinfection of proso millet by either isolate of PMV with SPMV-KS but not with SPMV-Type elicited severe disease synergism, suggesting that SPMV-KS was the main contributor for efficient synergistic interaction with PMVisolates. Coinfection of proso millet plants by either isolate of PMV and SPMV-KS or SPMV-Type caused increased accumulation of coat protein (CP) and genomic RNA copies of PMV, compared with infections by individual PMV isolates. Additionally, CP and genomic RNA copies of SPMV-KS accumulated at substantially higher levels, compared with SMPV-Type in coinfected proso millet plants with either isolate of PMV. Hybrid viruses between SPMV-KS and SPMV-Type revealed that SPMV isolates harboring a CP fragment with four differing amino acids at positions 18, 35, 59, and 98 were responsible for differential synergistic interactions with PMV in proso millet plants. Mutation of amino acid residues at these positions in different combinations in SPMV-KS, similar to those as in SPMV-Type or vice-versa, revealed that A35 and R98 in SPMV-KS CP play critical roles in enhanced synergistic interactions with PMVisolates. Taken together, these data suggest that the two distinct amino acids at positions 35 and 98 in the CP of SPMV-KS and SPMV-Type are involved in the differential synergistic interactions with the helper viruses.