Abundance of Poleroviruses within Tasmanian pea crops and surrounding weeds, and the genetic diversity of TuYV isolates found
Umar, M and Tegg, RS and Farooq, T and Thangavel, T and Wilson, CR, Abundance of Poleroviruses within Tasmanian pea crops and surrounding weeds, and the genetic diversity of TuYV isolates found, Viruses, 14, (8) Article 1690. ISSN 1999-4915 (2022) [Refereed Article]
The genus Polerovirus contains positive-sense, single-stranded RNA plant viruses that cause significant disease in many agricultural crops, including vegetable legumes. This study aimed to identify and determine the abundance of Polerovirus species present within Tasmanian pea crops and surrounding weeds that may act as virus reservoirs. We further sought to examine the genetic diversity of TuYV, the most commonly occurring polerovirus identified. Pea and weed samples were collected during 2019-2020 between October and January from thirty-four sites across three different regions (far northwest, north, and midlands) of Tasmania and tested by RT-PCR assay, with selected samples subject to next-generation sequencing. Results revealed that the presence of polerovirus infection and the prevalence of TuYV in both weeds and pea crops varied across the three Tasmanian cropping regions, with TuYV infection levels in pea crops ranging between 0 and 27.5% of tested plants. Overall, two species members from each genus, Polerovirus and Potyvirus, one member from each of Luteovirus, Potexvirus, and Carlavirus, and an unclassified virus from the family Partitiviridae were also found as a result of NGS data analysis. Analysis of gene sequences of the P0 and P3 genes of Tasmanian TuYV isolates revealed substantial genetic diversity within the collection, with a few isolates appearing more closely aligned with BrYV isolates. Questions remain around the differentiation of TuYV and BrYV species. Phylogenetic inconsistency in the P0 and P3 ORFs supports the concept that recombination may have played a role in TuYV evolution in Tasmania. Results of the evolutionary analysis showed that the selection pressure was higher in the P0 gene than in the P3 gene, and the majority of the codons for each gene are evolving under purifying selection. Future full genome-based analyses of the genetic variations will expand our understanding of the evolutionary patterns existing among TuYV populations in Tasmania.