Forced recombination between distinct strains of Maize streak virus

W H Schnippenkoetter, D P Martin, J A Willment, E P Rybicki

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Recombination between divergent virus genomes is believed to be a major mechanism for generation of novel virus genotypes. We have examined the recombination process in geminiviruses by forcing recombination between two distinct isolates of Maize streak virus (MSV), MSV-Kom and MSV-Set. Heterodimeric agroinfectious constructs containing tandemly cloned mixtures of complete or partial MSV-Set and MSV-Kom genomes were used to simulate a circular dimeric form similar to that which would be expected to occur following a single intermolecular crossing-over event between MSV-Set and MSV-Kom replicative form DNAs at the long intergenic region (LIR)-movement protein gene (MP) interface. We isolated, analysed and biologically characterized many of the recombinant MSV genomes that were generated from the constructs in planta. Apart from having the same simulated breakpoint at the LIR-MP interface, all the genomes examined had a second breakpoint that had been generated through either intramolecular homologous recombination or a replicational release mechanism. The pathogenicities of six predominantly MSV-Kom-like recombinants were tested in maize. While all were capable of producing a symptomatic infection in this host, none was more virulent than MSV-Kom and only two were more virulent than MSV-Set. The two most virulent recombinants were leafhopper transmitted to a range of differentially MSV-resistant maize, wheat and barley genotypes and both were found to have unique biological properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3081-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue numberPt 12
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Genome, Viral
  • Genotype
  • Maize streak virus
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Diseases
  • Plant Viral Movement Proteins
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Viral Proteins
  • Virulence
  • Zea mays


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