Development of a tool to study fungus-plant interactions

The CBGP Mycovirus-Fungus-Plant Interaction group has developed a new tool to study the interaction of a mycovirus with a plant pathogenic fungus, and to determine how this interaction affects the behavior of the plant under fungal infection. The work has been published in the Journal of Fungi.

Botrytis cinerea is a very important plant pathogenic fungus due to the direct or indirect economic losses it causes throughout the year in a wide variety of crops, both in the field and in stored fruit. One of the main methods to control this fungus is the use of fungicides, against which the fungus quickly develops resistances. This has led to the search for more sustainable alternative control methods.

In this work, an artificial virus has been developed, based on the Botrytis virus F, which can be used in basic studies of transcription, translation, and replication of this type of virus in its natural host, B. cinerea. Apparently, the interaction between the artificial virus and the fungus is not detrimental to any of them, and this interaction does not affect the phenotype or virulence of the fungus; therefore, it can also be used to express products of commercial interest in the fungus. Finally, it can be used as a vector to regulate the expression of fungal genes and to eliminate the fungus from crops susceptible to being infected.

Effect of infection of the artificial virus Botrytis F on two strains of the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea.

Original Paper:

Córdoba, L., Ruiz-Padilla, A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., Ayllón, M.A. 2022. Construction and Characterization of a Botrytis Virus F Infectious Clone. Journal of Fungi 8, 459. DOI: 10.3390/jof8050459