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The multiplicity of cellular infection changes depending on the route of cell infection in a plant virus

Gutierrez S., Pirolles E., Yvon M., Baecker V., Michalakis Y., Blanc S.. 2015. Journal of Virology, 89 (18) : p. 9665-9675.

The multiplicity of cellular infection (MOI) is the number of virus genomes of a given virus species that infect individual cells. This parameter chiefly impacts the severity of within-host population bottlenecks as well as the intensity of genetic exchange, competition, and complementation among viral genotypes. Only a few formal estimations of the MOI currently are available, and most theoretical reports have considered this parameter as constant within the infected host. Nevertheless, the colonization of a multicellular host is a complex process during which the MOI may dramatically change in different organs and at different stages of the infection. We have used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to analyze the MOI during the colonization of turnip plants by Turnip mosaic virus. Remarkably, different MOIs were observed at two phases of the systemic infection of a leaf. The MOI was very low in primary infections from virus circulating within the vasculature, generally leading to primary foci founded by a single genome. Each lineage then moved from cell to cell at a very high MOI. Despite this elevated MOI during cell-to-cell progression, coinfection of cells by lineages originating in different primary foci is severely limited by the rapid onset of a mechanism inhibiting secondary infection. Thus, our results unveil an intriguing colonization pattern where individual viral genomes initiate distinct lineages within a leaf. Kin genomes then massively coinfect cells, but coinfection by two distinct lineages is strictly limited.

Thématique : Maladies des plantes

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