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Dynamics of virus infection in mycovirus-mediated biological control of a fungal pathogen

English title Dynamics of virus infection in mycovirus-mediated biological control of a fungal pathogen
Applicant Rigling Daniel
Number 180651
Funding scheme Croatian-Swiss Research Programme (CSRP)
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Start/End 01.04.2019 - 31.03.2022
Approved amount 330'253.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Experimental Microbiology

Keywords (5)

Mycovirus genetic diversity; Infection dynamics; Plant pathogen; Hyperparasitsm; Biological control

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die biologische Schädlingsbekämpfung ist eine äusserst wünschenswerte Pflanzenschutzmethode, insbesondere in Wäldern, in denen der Einsatz von Pestiziden nicht zulässig ist und die Resistenzzüchtung nur langfristig erreicht wird. In diesem Projekt untersuchen wir die Infektionsdynamik eines Pilzvirus, der für die biologische Bekämpfung eines Baumkrankheit verwendet wird.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Für die biologische Schädlingsbekämpfung braucht es ein grundlegendes Verständnis dafür, wie natürliche Feinde die Schadorganismen in Schach halten können. Im Fokus unserer Untersuchungen steht ein Pilzvirus, der den Erreger des Kastanienrindenkrebses infiziert und der biologischen Bekämpfung dieser Baumkrankheit dient. Auf Grund der hohen Mutationsrate kann sich der Virus schnell verändern und unter Umständen seine positive Wirkung verlieren. Mit genetischen Methoden sowie Labor- und Feldexperimenten untersuchen wir, wie diese Prozesse ablaufen und sich auf die Dynamik der Virusinfektion und damit auf die biologische Bekämpfung auswirken.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Das Projekt liefert neue Erkenntnisse zur genetischen Diversität bei Pilzviren und deren Bedeutung für die Infektionsdynamik. Damit wird nicht nur die biologische Bekämpfung des Kastanienrindenkrebses unterstützt, sondern es werden auch allgemeine Grundlagen für die Bekämpfung von Schadpilzen mit Pilzviren geschaffen. Das Projekt wird gemeinsam mit einer Forschungsgruppe von der Universität Zagreb durchgeführt.  

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.03.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Gesuchsteller/innen Ausland

Employees

Publications

Publication
Diversity of Cryphonectria parasitica in callused chestnut blight cankers on European and American chestnut
Ježić Marin, Kolp Matthew, Prospero Simone, Sotirovski Kiril, Double Mark, Rigling Daniel, Risteski Mihajlo, Karin-Kujundžić Valentina, Idžojtić Marilena, Poljak Igor, Ćurković-Perica Mirna (2019), Diversity of Cryphonectria parasitica in callused chestnut blight cankers on European and American chestnut, in Forest Pathology, 49(6), e12566-e12566.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Genetic Diversity Center (GDC) ETH-Z Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Kiril Sotirovski, University Skopje Macedonia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Subdepartment of Plant Ecophysiology and Biochemisty Croatia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Department of Forest Genetics, Dendrology and Botany Croatia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Nobuhiro Suzuki, Okayama University Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Division of Microbiology Croatia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
GDC Symposium 2019 Talk given at a conference Viral genome sequencing of native RNA and amplified cDNA using Oxford Nanopore Technologies 11.09.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Leigh Deborah;
8th Congress of European Microbiologists Poster Mycovirus-induced alteration of stress enzymes' activity and epigenetic changes in phytopathogenic fungus Cryphonectria parasitica 07.07.2019 Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Curkovic Perica Mirna;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
170188 Molecular epidemiology of clonal lineages of an invasive fungal plant pathogen 01.01.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
127922 Chestnut blight research in the Balkans and Georgia: population studies and biological control methods 01.11.2009 SCOPES

Abstract

Introduced pests and pathogens are increasingly challenging agricultural and forest production systems, as well as natural and near-natural ecosystems. Biological control of these harmful organisms is a highly desirable plant protection measure, particularly in forests where the use of pesticides is often not applicable and resistance breeding only a long-term option. Hyperparasitism, the fundamental relationship between two parasitic organisms typically provides the basis for biological control. Mycoviruses that infect plant pathogenic fungi have the potential to be used as biocontrol agents. In this project, we will use the Cryphonectria parasitica-hypovirus pathosystem to investigate the dynamics of virus infection in a fungal pathogen. Cryphonectria parasitica is the causal agent of chestnut blight, an introduced disease of sweet chestnut, which is responsible for a widespread decline of chestnut forests across Europe. Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 (CHV-1) is an RNA virus that infects C. parasitica and acts as biological control agent of chestnut blight. RNA viruses are known to evolve at high rates because of the error-prone viral RNA polymerases, which produce mutants with each replication cycle. As a result, a diverse virus population, referred to as a viral quasispecies, exists in infected hosts. We will use next-generation-sequencing to investigate the quasispecies diversity and infection dynamics of CHV-1 in its fungal host C. parasitica. In the first part of the project, we will establish the methodology to measure quasispecies diversity in CHV-1. The selected method will then be used to analyse viral diversity in field populations of C. parasitica sampled in Croatia and Switzerland. In the second part, we will investigate the quasispecies dynamics during the infection cycle of CHV-1. We hypothesize that the quasispecies diversity will experience bottleneck effects during vertical (into spores) and horizontal (to other fungal host individuals) virus transmission, while it will increase over time during vegetative growth of the fungal host. In the third part, we will assess how quasispecies diversity and composition affect host phenotypes including virulence. Finally, our long-term experiment of monitoring the natural dynamics of CHV-1 infection in C. parasitica populations in chestnut forests will continue. For this, we will resample the experimental sites in Croatia and Switzerland and determine the relationship between CHV-1 infection and canker healing. This project will produce novel knowledge about viruses that infect fungal pathogens and will support biological control of an important plant disease. The project will also be a continuation of a well-established, scientifically fruitful partnership between the Swiss and Croatian research groups.
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