Navigation Links
The genetic secrets to jumping the species barrier
Date:2/11/2010

Scientists have pinpointed specific mutations that allow a common plant virus to infect new species, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of General Virology. Understanding the genetics of the key interactions between viruses and hosts could provide insight to how some viruses manage to jump the species barrier and even give us a better idea of how animal diseases are generated.

Researchers from Saga University, Japan studied the genetic changes that took place when turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) a plant mosaic disease spread by aphids adapted to infect a new species. Genetic analysis showed TuMV had acquired an average of 140 significant mutations, on its evolutionary pathway from Brassica rapa (turnip), a host to which it is well adapted, to a new host Raphanus sativus (radish).

Interestingly, many of the mutations were found clustered in genes that code for two key viral proteins, P3 and CI. These two proteins are already known to interact with genes that help plants resist TuMV infection. Researchers think that a kind of molecular tug of war between these proteins and plant resistance mechanisms takes place, that determines not only the severity of disease following infection, but also whether the virus can infect its host in the first place.

Both plant and animal viruses are specifically adapted to infect and replicate in particular types of host. To ensure their spread and survival, viruses can adapt to their environment by mutating. Mutations may alter the severity of infection in existing hosts, change how contagious a virus is, or allow the virus to infect new hosts. Viruses such as TuMV that use RNA (rather than DNA) as their genetic material mutate especially easily as they use a copying method that is far more error-prone.

Professor Kazusato Ohshima who led the study believes that research into the virus-host interface in plants could have far-reaching benefits. "Revealing the subtleties of the interaction between viruses and plant resistance mechanisms could help breeders produce better crops, for example by selecting strains that block changes to TuMV." He also said the work could help the study of animal viruses. "We are trying to understand how novel viruses emerge - particularly how viruses are able to cross the species barrier. This in turn gives us a better idea of how pandemics are generated and how best to stem their spread."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Udakis
l.udakis@sgm.ac.uk
44-118-988-1843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Comprehensive study using bioinformatics predicts the molecular causes of many genetic diseases
2. Scientists identify first genetic variant linked to biological aging in humans
3. Genetically-modified mice reveal another mechanism contributing to heart failure
4. Epigenetics could help researchers determine any risks associated with low-dose radiation
5. ARS genetic analysis helps spot sugarcane rusts
6. The Genetics Society of America announces its 2010 award recipients
7. NIGMS awards contract to expand human genetic cell repository
8. Researchers trace effects of genetic defect in myotonic muscular dystrophy
9. NSF grant to launch worlds first open-source genetic parts production facility
10. The Genetics Society of America announces DeLill Nasser Travel Award recipients
11. Genetic risk factor identified for Parkinsons disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... MELBOURNE, Fla. , Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( ... actor and television personality, Joey Fatone . Las ... and greet fans. --> Las Vegas , ... --> The new video ad was filmed at the ... Joey appeared at the Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... (JFK) International Airport, New York City , to ... attempting to enter the United States using ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. ... JFK during January 2016. --> pilot testing of ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced the ... in Retail Sector 2016-2020" report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016 On Thursday, February 11, ... source for community, health and disaster services, and the ... integrate to enhance care coordination and service delivery for ... they need and to better connect service providers to ... San Diego has handled more ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... SYDNEY , Feb. 5, 2016 Australian-US drug ... ), announced today the appointment of a new Chairman, Mr ... Bryce Carmine , effective immediately. James Garner ... an Executive Director and former Acting CEO, Mr Iain ... a Non-Executive Director. --> James Garner , has ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 - New FDA action ... - New FDA action date of July 22, ... July 22, 2016   - ... in the past decade indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of ... has the potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific ... LC-MS, host live demos and poster sessions, and present on the analysis of ... takes place March 6 to 10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: