The Plant Pathology Journal 2006;22(2):131-138.
Published online June 30, 2006.
Biological Control of a Severe Viral Strain Using a Benign Viral Satellite RNAAssociated with Cucumber mosaic virus
Magdy Shaban Montasser, Bader Al Hamar, Radhika Guleri Bhardwaj
Two strains of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) isolated in Kuwait were confirmed their infectivity based on symptomatology and host range on different cultivars of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) and squash (Cucurbita pepo). The pattern of symptoms differed for the two CMV strains in tomato and tobacco, showing severe stunting and mosaic symptoms with one strain designated KU2, and almost symptomless with the other strain designated KU1. A satellite RNA 5 (sat-RNA) was found to be associated with the KU1 strain and was characterized as a benign viral satellite RNA. Using reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with sat- RNA specific primers, an amplified PCR product of about 160bp was determined and analyzed by gel electrophoresis. This naturally occurring benign viral satellite RNA was successfully used as a biological control agent to protect tomato plants against the severe KU2 strain. Tomato plants grown in plant-growth chambers, were preinoculated with KU1 containing the benign viral satellite and then challenge inoculated with the severe KU2 strain at different time intervals. All plants challenged three weeks after preinoculation showed nearly complete protection from subsequent infection by the severe strain. This biological control technology using plant viruses was found protective and could be successfully established sooner after the preinoculation.
Key Words: Cucumber mosaic virus, RT-PCR, satellite RNA

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