Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version

November 1999




Infectious RNA of wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) has been produced using a full-length cDNA clone as a template for in vitro transcription with SP6 RNA polymerase. Infectivity was dependent on the use of template plasmid DNA that had not undergone spontaneous rearrangement during amplification in Escherichia coli. The presence of WSMV in systemically infected wheat plants inoculated with in vitro transcripts was confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction of the WSMV P3 gene and by accumulation of WSMV coat protein as detected by immunoblotting. Maintenance of the full-length WSMV cDNA in the high copy number plasmid pUC18 was problematic because of spontaneous rearrangement of WSMV sequences during growth in liquid media for more than ~8 h or if the clone was subcultured. Stability of the WSMV cDNA clone was improved by the use of the low copy number plasmid pACYC177, and it could be grown in large scale volumes (up to 1 liter) of liquid culture for ~14 h without noticeable rearrangements. Both the original WSMV culture and the progeny virus derived from infectious in vitro transcripts were efficiently transmitted by the natural eriophyid mite vector Aceria tosichella. This is the first report of infectious in vitro transcripts for any eriophyid mite-transmitted plant virus and represents the only monopartite member of the family Potyviridae infecting monocotyledonous hosts for which infectious in vitro transcripts are available.