Intact rhabdovirus particles of strawberry crinkle virus (SCV) mechanically transmitted from Fragaria vesca UC-S to Physalis pubescens plants were purified. When these particles were used as an immunogen, it was not possible to obtain either a virus-specific polyclonal antiserum after rabbit immunization or monoclonal antibodies. Each of the major nucleocapsid proteins (N, Ns and M) were therefore purified by means of preparative electrophoresis and injected into mice. The polyclonal mouse antisera raised showed a specific reaction with SCV-infected P. pubescens sag. Work is in progress to obtain specific monoclonal antibodies. It is also possible to isolate one ssRNA of about 13 kb from purified particles of SCV. Relatively abundant dsRNA could be extracted from Nicotiana occidentalis 37B plants infected with strawberry mottle virus (SMoV). This dsRNA was composed of two bands of about 7.8 and 6.3 kbp which were DNase resistant. They became RNAse resistant in the presence of NaCI above 0.5 M. Work is in progress to make a cDNA library from purified dsRNA of SMoV. The need of replacing the leaf-graft indexing of strawberry for the major aphid-borne viruses in relation to the potential offered by the current knowledge on these viruses is discussed.
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