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Special Issue "A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 5186

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luisa Rubino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: plant virology; positive-strand RNA viruses; virus replication; virus taxonomy; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; electron microscopy
Dr. Marc F. Fuchs
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456, USA
Interests: virus diseases of fruit and vegetable crops; grape viruses; plant virus-insect vector interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Prof. Giovanni P. Martelli’s contributions to Plant Virology are seminal. He described more than 50 new virus species, genera, and families and was a recognized authority on viruses and virus diseases of grapevines. He pioneered studies on virus-host interactions at the cytopathological level and characterized the structure and nature of inclusion bodies and of intracellular sites of viral nucleic acid and protein synthesis. His epidemiological studies dealt with viruses transmitted by nematodes and mealybugs or via seeds and pollen. Prof. Martelli was a visionary virologist and an exceptional mentor. Sadly, Prof. Martelli passed away in January 2020. Viruses is planning a Special Issue in honor of his work and scientific legacy. We invite submissions on topics related to Prof. Martelli’s research such as viruses and virus diseases of Mediterranean crops, including vegetables, grapevines, fruit trees, and ornamentals. Original research reports, reviews, and brief commentaries on Prof. Martelli’s influence on the field are welcome. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts.

Dr. Luisa Rubino
Dr. Marc F. Fuchs
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • certification
  • electron microscopy
  • etiology
  • epidemiology
  • management
  • population structure
  • taxonomy
  • therapeutics
  • resistance

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Biology and Ultrastructural Characterization of Grapevine Badnavirus 1 and Grapevine Virus G
Viruses 2022, 14(12), 2695; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14122695 (registering DOI) - 30 Nov 2022
Viewed by 96
Abstract
The biological characteristics of grapevine viruses, such as their transmission and host range, are important for the adoption of successful prophylaxis strategies. The aim of this study was to investigate the traits of two newly described grapevine viruses widely distributed in Croatia, grapevine [...] Read more.
The biological characteristics of grapevine viruses, such as their transmission and host range, are important for the adoption of successful prophylaxis strategies. The aim of this study was to investigate the traits of two newly described grapevine viruses widely distributed in Croatia, grapevine badnavirus 1 (GBV-1) and grapevine virus G (GVG). The vine mealybug (Planoccocus ficus) proved to be a vector of GBV-1 and GVG capable of vine-to-vine transmission with overall experimental transmission rates of 61% and 14.6%, respectively. Transmission was also demonstrated by grafting, with an overall transmission rate of 53.8% for GBV-1 and 100% for GVG, as well as by green grafting using the T-budding technique. Symptoms of GBV-1 and GVG were not observed on the woody cylinders of the indicators LN 33, Kober 5BB, 110 Richter and cvs. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Seed transmission and mechanical transmission were not confirmed. Electron microscopy revealed accumulation of GBV-1 particles and viroplasms in the cytoplasm, but no alternations of the cell structure. Infection with GVG revealed the proliferation of tonoplast-associated vesicles inside phloem cells and cell wall thickening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
Transmission of Grapevine Leafroll-Associated Viruses and Grapevine Virus A by Vineyard-Sampled Soft Scales (Parthenolecanium corni, Hemiptera: Coccidae)
Viruses 2022, 14(12), 2679; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14122679 (registering DOI) - 29 Nov 2022
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Grapevine-infecting ampelo- and vitiviruses are transmitted by scale insects belonging to several species, among which is the European fruit lecanium, Parthenolecanium corni (Bouché) (Hemiptera Coccidae). Our objective was to characterize the transmission biology of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses (GLRaV) and grapevine virus A (GVA) [...] Read more.
Grapevine-infecting ampelo- and vitiviruses are transmitted by scale insects belonging to several species, among which is the European fruit lecanium, Parthenolecanium corni (Bouché) (Hemiptera Coccidae). Our objective was to characterize the transmission biology of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses (GLRaV) and grapevine virus A (GVA) by this soft scale species in order to evaluate its ability to spread these viruses. In transmission experiments with nymphs sampled from different vineyards infected with GLRaV 1, 2, 3 and GVA, P. corni transmitted only GLRaV 1 and GVA to healthy vines. GVA was predominantly transmitted along with GLRaV 1, whereas the latter could be transmitted alone from single or co-infected vines. Vineyard-sampled second instar nymphs were more efficient than first instars at transmitting GLRaV 1, whereas both instars displayed similar transmission rates for GVA. Short virus inoculation access periods and the absence of virus in eggs of females living on infected grapevines fulfilled the criteria of non-circulative semi-persistent transmission mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
Metagenomic Analysis of Ampelographic Collections of Dagestan Revealed the Presence of Two Novel Grapevine Viruses
Viruses 2022, 14(12), 2623; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14122623 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
In this study, we analyzed the virome of 73 grape samples from two Dagestan ampelographic collections in Russia using high-throughput sequencing of total RNAs. Fourteen viruses and four viroids were identified, with one to eleven of them detected in each plant. For the [...] Read more.
In this study, we analyzed the virome of 73 grape samples from two Dagestan ampelographic collections in Russia using high-throughput sequencing of total RNAs. Fourteen viruses and four viroids were identified, with one to eleven of them detected in each plant. For the first time in Russia, we identified grapevine leafroll-associated virus 7 and grapevine Kizil Sapak virus. A total of 206 genomes of viruses and viroids were obtained, and their phylogenetic analysis was carried out. The de novo assembly and tblastx analysis allowed us to obtain contigs of a novel (+) ssRNA genome of a plant virus from the genus Umbravirus, which was tentatively named grapevine umbra-like virus (GULV), as well as contigs of a novel dsDNA pararetrovirus from the genus Caulimovirus, which was tentatively named grapevine pararetrovirus (GPRV). Complete genomes of these viruses were obtained and used for Sequence Demarcation Tool (SDT) analysis and phylogeny studies. GULV and GPRV were detected in 16 and 33 germplasm samples from the Dagestan collections, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
Mixed Infection of Blackcurrant with a Novel Cytorhabdovirus and Black Currant-Associated Nucleorhabdovirus
Viruses 2022, 14(11), 2456; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14112456 - 06 Nov 2022
Viewed by 488
Abstract
A virome screen was performed on a new breeding line, KB1, of blackcurrant. Rhabdovirus-like particles were observed by electron microscopy in ultrathin sections of flower stalks, and the complete genome sequence of a novel virus, provisionally named blackcurrant rhabdovirus 2 (BCRV2), was determined [...] Read more.
A virome screen was performed on a new breeding line, KB1, of blackcurrant. Rhabdovirus-like particles were observed by electron microscopy in ultrathin sections of flower stalks, and the complete genome sequence of a novel virus, provisionally named blackcurrant rhabdovirus 2 (BCRV2), was determined and verified using high-throughput sequencing. The genomic organization of BCRV2 was characteristic of cytorhabdoviruses (family Rhabdoviridae) and included seven genes: 3′-N-P′-P-P3-M-G-L-5′. BLASTP analysis revealed that the putative L protein had the highest amino acid sequence identity (75%) with strawberry virus 2. BCRV2 was detected in Cryptomyzus galeopsidis, but efficient transmission by this aphid was not confirmed. Of note, we observed coinfection of the KB1 line with blackcurrant-associated rhabdovirus (BCaRV) by RT-PCR. This is likely the first evidence of the presence of a cyto- and a nucleorhabdovirus in a single host. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
Characterization of Grapevine Fanleaf Virus Isolates in ‘Chardonnay’ Vines Exhibiting Severe and Mild Symptoms in Two Vineyards
Viruses 2022, 14(10), 2303; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14102303 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Fanleaf degeneration is a complex viral disease of Vitis spp. that detrimentally impacts fruit yield and reduces the productive lifespan of most vineyards worldwide. In France, its main causal agent is grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV). In the past, field experiments were conducted to [...] Read more.
Fanleaf degeneration is a complex viral disease of Vitis spp. that detrimentally impacts fruit yield and reduces the productive lifespan of most vineyards worldwide. In France, its main causal agent is grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV). In the past, field experiments were conducted to explore cross-protection as a management strategy of fanleaf degeneration, but results were unsatisfactory because the mild virus strain negatively impacted fruit yield. In order to select new mild GFLV isolates, we examined two old ‘Chardonnay’ parcels harbouring vines with distinct phenotypes. Symptoms and agronomic performances were monitored over the four-year study on 21 individual vines that were classified into three categories: asymptomatic GFLV-free vines, GFLV-infected vines severely diseased and GFLV-infected vines displaying mild symptoms. The complete coding genomic sequences of GFLV isolates in infected vines was determined by high-throughput sequencing. Most grapevines were infected with multiple genetically divergent variants. While no specific molecular features were apparent for GFLV isolates from vines displaying mild symptoms, a genetic differentiation of GFLV populations depending on the vineyard parcel was observed. The mild symptomatic grapevines identified during this study were established in a greenhouse to recover GFLV variants of potential interest for cross-protection studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
A Novel Self-Cleaving Viroid-Like RNA Identified in RNA Preparations from a Citrus Tree Is Not Directly Associated with the Plant
Viruses 2022, 14(10), 2265; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14102265 - 15 Oct 2022
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Viroid and viroid-like satellite RNAs are infectious, circular, non-protein coding RNAs reported in plants only so far. Some viroids (family Avsunviroidae) and viroid-like satellite RNAs share self-cleaving activity mediated by hammerhead ribozymes (HHRzs) endowed in both RNA polarity strands. Using a homology-independent [...] Read more.
Viroid and viroid-like satellite RNAs are infectious, circular, non-protein coding RNAs reported in plants only so far. Some viroids (family Avsunviroidae) and viroid-like satellite RNAs share self-cleaving activity mediated by hammerhead ribozymes (HHRzs) endowed in both RNA polarity strands. Using a homology-independent method based on the search for conserved structural motifs of HHRzs in reads and contigs from high-throughput sequenced RNAseq libraries, we identified a novel small (550 nt) viroid-like RNA in a library from a Citrus reticulata tree. Such a viroid-like RNA contains a HHRz in both polarity strands. Northern blot hybridization assays showed that circular forms of both polarity strands of this RNA (tentatively named citrus transiently-associated hammerhead viroid-like RNA1 (CtaHVd-LR1)) exist, supporting its replication through a symmetric pathway of the rolling circle mechanism. CtaHVd-LR1 adopts a rod-like conformation and has the typical features of quasispecies. Its HHRzs were shown to be active during transcription and in the absence of any protein. CtaHVd-LR1 was not graft-transmissible, and after its first identification, it was not found again in the original citrus source when repeatedly searched in the following years, suggesting that it was actually not directly associated with the plant. Therefore, the possibility that this novel self-cleaving viroid-like RNA is actually associated with another organism (e.g., a fungus), in turn, transiently associated with citrus plants, is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
Transcriptomic Analyses of Grapevine Leafroll-Associated Virus 3 Infection in Leaves and Berries of ‘Cabernet Franc’
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1831; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081831 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) is one of the most important viruses affecting global grape and wine production. GLRaV-3 is the chief agent associated with grapevine leafroll disease (GLRD), the most prevalent and economically destructive grapevine viral disease complex. Response of grapevine to [...] Read more.
Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) is one of the most important viruses affecting global grape and wine production. GLRaV-3 is the chief agent associated with grapevine leafroll disease (GLRD), the most prevalent and economically destructive grapevine viral disease complex. Response of grapevine to GLRaV-3 infection at the gene expression level is poorly characterized, limiting the understanding of GLRaV-3 pathogenesis and viral-associated symptom development. In this research, we used RNA-Seq to profile the changes in global gene expression of Cabernet franc, a premium red wine grape, analyzing leaf and berry tissues at three key different developmental stages. We have identified 1457 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in leaves and 1181 DEGs in berries. The expression profiles of a subset of DEGs were validated through RT-qPCR, including those involved in photosynthesis (VvPSBP1), carbohydrate partitioning (VvSUT2, VvHT5, VvGBSS1, and VvSUS), flavonoid biosynthesis (VvUFGT, VvLAR1, and VvFLS), defense response (VvPR-10.3, and VvPR-10.7), and mitochondrial activities (ETFB, TIM13, and NDUFA1). GLRaV-3 infection altered source–sink relationship between leaves and berries. Photosynthesis and photosynthate assimilation were inhibited in mature leaves while increased in young berries. The expression of genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis increased in GLRaV-3-infected leaves, correlating with interveinal tissue reddening, a hallmark of GLRD symptoms. Notably, we identified changes in gene expression that suggest a compromised sugar export and increased sugar retrieval in GLRaV-3-infected leaves. Genes associated with mitochondria were down-regulated in both leaves and berries of Cabernet franc infected with GLRaV-3. Results of the present study suggest that GLRaV-3 infection may disrupt mitochondrial function in grapevine leaves, leading to repressed sugar export and accumulation of sugar in mature leaf tissues. The excessive sugar accumulation in GLRaV-3-infected leaves may trigger downstream GLRD symptom development and negatively impact berry quality. We propose a working model to account for the molecular events underlying the pathogenesis of GLRaV-3 and symptom development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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Article
A Novel Flavi-like Virus in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Crops along the Snake River Valley
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061320 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Alfalfa is an important perennial forage crop in Idaho supporting dairy and cattle industries that is typically grown in the same field for as many as 4 years. Alfalfa stands of different ages were subjected to screening for viruses using high-throughput sequencing and [...] Read more.
Alfalfa is an important perennial forage crop in Idaho supporting dairy and cattle industries that is typically grown in the same field for as many as 4 years. Alfalfa stands of different ages were subjected to screening for viruses using high-throughput sequencing and RT-PCR. The two most common viruses found were alfalfa mosaic virus and bean leafroll virus, along with Medicago sativa amalgavirus, two alphapartitiviruses, and one deltapartitivirus. Additionally, a new flavi-like virus with an unusual genome organization was discovered, dubbed Snake River alfalfa virus (SRAV). The 11,745 nt, positive-sense (+) RNA genome of SRAV encodes a single 3835 aa polyprotein with only two identifiable conserved domains, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) and a predicted serine protease. Notably, unlike all +RNA virus genomes in the similar size range, the SRAV polyprotein contained no predicted helicase domain. In the RdRP phylogeny, SRAV was placed inside the flavi-like lineage as a sister clade to a branch consisting of hepaci-, and pegiviruses. To the best of our knowledge, SRAV is the first flavi-like virus identified in a plant host. Although commonly detected in alfalfa crops in southern Idaho, SRAV sequences were also amplified from thrips feeding in alfalfa stands in the area, suggesting a possible role of Frankliniella occidentalis in virus transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tribute to Giovanni P. Martelli)
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