Phytoreovirus-like Sequences Isolated from Salivary Glands of the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Homolodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)

C. S. Katsar, W. B. Hunter, X. H. Sinisterra

Abstract


The salivary glands of the Glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis Germar 1821, (syn. H. coagulata, Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) were collected and used to produce a cDNA library. Examination by BLASTX analyses identified 2 viral sequences, one a 610-base pair fragment and a second 839-base pair fragment, both of which had significant homology to viruses within the genus Phytoreovirus. Resequencing of the fragments confirmed sequence validities. These sequences were used for in silico protein translation and BLASTP analysis confirming the established homology. While the GWSS is the primary vector of Pierce’s disease of grapes, this is the first report that GWSS may be a vector of a phytoreoviruses. Phylogenetic and homology comparisons with BLASTX, BLASTP, and PAUP analyses indicated that the viral sequences isolated from GWSS were closely related to the viruses in the Family Reoviridae, Genus Phytoreovirus, specifically Rice Dwarf Phytoreovirus (RDV). RDV is the only plant reovirus that is not limited to the phloem. Phytoreoviruses are transmitted in a propagative manner by cicadellid leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), which acquire and transmit them during feeding. Phytoreoviruses have been reported from Agallian, Agalliopsis, Nephotettix, and Recilia, genera of leafhoppers, with evidence for transovarial transmission. The GWSS, although considered to feed primarily from the xylem, ingests from other plant tissues, such as the phloem and mesophyll during probing similar to other leafhoppers. The feeding behavior and wide host range of the GWSS provides an overlapping condition for these two organisms, leafhopper and virus. GWSS will feed from grasses as a transitory host, and on herbaceous and woody plants as primary hosts, which may favor the acquisition and transmission of Phytoreovirus by this leafhopper. Monitoring for an increase of Phytoreovirus spread in graminaceous crops that are in proximity to vineyards or tree crop orchards, where GWSS occurs, such as in southern California, will provide a better understanding of the potential role of the GWSS as a disease vector in the spread of phytoreoviruses and other plant pathogens. The sequences have been deposited in NCBI database under the accession numbers (EF058280) for GWSS-V1, WHSg013C11 and (EF058281) for GWSS-V2, WHSg024H02.

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