New device and method for capture, reverse transcription and nested PCR in a single closed-tube.
A device and improved method based on the use of a compartmentalized Eppendorf tube that allows capture, reverse transcription and nested-PCR in a single closed-tube has been developed and patented. The main advantages of the system are the high sensitivity obtained, the simplicity, the low risk of contamination and the easy establishment of adequate conditions for nested-PCR. The method has been successfully applied to the detection and characterization of citrus tristeza closterovirus and plum pox potyvirus isolates in plant tissues and single aphids squashed on paper. This device and methodology could be easily adapted to the detection of other targets. (+info)
The haplotype distribution of two genes of citrus tristeza virus is altered after host change or aphid transmission.
Genetic variability of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) was studied using the haplotypes detected by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of genes p18 and p20 in six virus populations of two origins. The Spanish group included a CTV isolate and subisolates obtained by graft-transmission to different host species. The other included two subisolates aphid-transmitted from a single Japanese isolate. The homozygosity observed for gene p20 was always significantly higher than that expected under neutral evolution, whereas only three populations showed high homozygosity for p18, suggesting stronger host constraints for p20 than for p18. Sequential transmissions of a Spanish isolate to new host species increased the difference between its population and that of the successive subisolates for gene p18, as estimated by the F statistic. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that variation between both groups of populations was not statistically significant, whereas variations between populations of the same group or within populations were significant for both genes studied. Our data indicate that selection affects the haplotype distribution and that adaptation to a new host can be as important or more as the geographical origin. Variation of the CTV populations after host change or aphid transmission may explain in part the wide biological variability observed among CTV isolates. (+info)
A GroEL homologue from endosymbiotic bacteria of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci is implicated in the circulative transmission of tomato yellow leaf curl virus.
Evidence for the involvement of a Bemisia tabaci GroEL homologue in the transmission of tomato yellow leaf curl geminivirus (TYLCV) is presented. A approximately 63-kDa protein was identified in B. tabaci whole-body extracts using an antiserum raised against aphid Buchnera GroEL. The GroEL homologue was immunolocalized to a coccoid-shaped whitefly endosymbiont. The 30 N-terminal amino acids of the whitefly GroEL homologue showed 80% homology with that from different aphid species and GroEL from Escherichia coli. Purified GroEL from B. tabaci exhibited ultrastructural similarities to that of the endosymbiont from aphids and E. coli. In vitro ligand assays showed that tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) particles displayed a specific affinity for the B. tabaci 63-kDa GroEL homologue. Feeding whiteflies anti-Buchnera GroEL antiserum before the acquisition of virions reduced TYLCV transmission to tomato test plants by >80%. In the haemolymph of these whiteflies, TYLCV DNA was reduced to amounts below the threshold of detection by Southern blot hybridization. Active antibodies were recovered from the insect haemolymph suggesting that by complexing the GoEL homologue, the antibody disturbed interaction with TYLCV, leading to degradation of the virus. We propose that GroEL of B. tabaci protects the virus from destruction during its passage through the haemolymph. (+info)
Relationship between amount of esterase and gene copy number in insecticide-resistant Myzus persicae (Sulzer).
Overproduction of the insecticide-degrading esterases, E4 and FE4, in peach-potato aphids, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), depends on both gene amplification and transcriptional control, the latter being associated with changes in DNA methylation. The structure and function of the aphid esterase genes have been studied but the determination of their copy number has proved difficult, a common problem with gene amplification. We have now used a combination of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and quantitative competitive PCR to determine relative esterase gene copy numbers in aphid clones with different levels of insecticide resistance (R1, R2 and R3). There are approx. 4-fold increases between susceptible, R1, R2 and R3 aphids, reaching a maximum of approx. 80 times more genes in R3; this gives proportionate increases in esterase protein relative to susceptible aphids. Thus there is no overexpression of the amplified genes, in contrast with what was thought previously. For E4 genes, the loss of 5-methylcytosine is correlated with a loss of expression, greatly decreasing the amount of enzyme relative to the copy number. (+info)
Evidence for genetic drift in endosymbionts (Buchnera): analyses of protein-coding genes.
Buchnera, the bacterial endosymbionts of aphids, undergo severe population bottlenecks during maternal transmission through their hosts. Previous studies suggest an increased effect of drift within these strictly asexual, small populations, resulting in an increased fixation of slightly deleterious mutations. This study further explores sequence evolution in Buchnera using three approaches. First, patterns of codon usage were compared across several homologous Escherichia coli and Buchnera loci, in order to test the prediction that selection for the use of optimal codons is less effective in small populations. A chi 2-based measure of codon bias was developed to adjust for the overall A + T richness of silent positions in the endosymbionts. In contrast to E. coli homologues, adaptive codon bias across Buchnera loci is markedly low, and patterns of codon usage lack a strong relationship with gene expression level. These data suggest that codon usage in Buchnera has been shaped largely by mutational pressure and drift rather than by selection for translational efficiency. One exception to the overall lack of bias is groEL, which is known to be constitutively overexpressed in Buchnera and other endosymbionts. Second, relative-rate tests show elevated rates of sequence evolution of numerous protein-coding loci across Buchnera, compared to E. coli. Finally, consistently higher ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions in Buchnera loci relative to the enteric bacteria strongly suggest the accumulation of nonsynonymous substitutions in endosymbiont lineages. Combined, these results suggest a decreased effectiveness of purifying selection in purging endosymbiont populations of slightly deleterious mutations, particularly those affecting codon usage and amino acid identity. (+info)
Self-association and mapping of interaction domains of helper component-proteinase of potato A potyvirus.
Potyviral helper component-proteinase (HC-Pro) is a multifunctional protein involved in aphid transmission, long-distance movement, polyprotein processing, genome amplification and symptom expression. It has been proposed that the active form of HC-Pro is a dimer and that coat protein (CP)-HC-Pro interaction is required for aphid transmission. To test these proposed interactions between CP and HC-Pro of potato A potyvirus (PVA), the yeast two-hybrid system was used. HC-Pro was shown to interact with itself in vivo in yeast cells, as did CP. Taken together with previous observations, we conclude that the functional HC-Pro is a homodimer. Deletion analysis showed that a 24 aa domain in the N-terminal half and the C-terminal proteinase part of HC-Pro were required for the interaction between HC-Pro molecules. No interactions were found between HC-Pro and CP using the genes of aphid-transmissible as well as aphid non-transmissible strains of PVA. (+info)
Phosphocarrier proteins in an intracellular symbiotic bacterium of aphids.
A GroEL homolog produced by Buchnera, an intracellular symbiotic bacterium of aphids, is not only a molecular chaperone but also a novel phosphocarrier protein, suggesting that this protein plays a role in a signal transducing system specific to bacteria living in an intracellular environment. This prompted us to look into phosphocarrier proteins of Buchnera that may be shared in common with other bacteria. As a result, no evidence was obtained for the presence of sensor kinases of the two-component system in Buchnera, which are found in many bacteria. It is possible that the lack of sensor kinases is compensated for by the mulitifunctional GroEL homolog in this symbiotic bacteria. In contrast, we successfully identified three phosphotransferase system genes, ptsH, ptsI, and crr in Buchnera, and provide evidence for their active expression. While the deduced amino acid sequences of these gene products, histidine-containing phosphocarrier protein, Enzyme I, and Enzyme III were similar to their counterparts in Escherichia coli, the predicted isoelectric points of the Buchnera proteins were strikingly higher. It was also suggested that Buchnera Enzyme I, when produced in E. coli, is able to accept the phosphoryl group from phosphoenolpyruvate, but not from ATP. (+info)
Sex-specific organisation of middle repetitive DNA sequences in the mealybug Planococcus lilacinus.
Differential organisation of homologous chromosomes is related to both sex determination and genomic imprinting in coccid insects, the mealybugs. We report here the identification of two middle repetitive sequences that are differentially organised between the two sexes and also within the same diploid nucleus. These two sequences form a part of the male-specific nuclease-resistant chromatin (NRC) fraction of a mealybug Planococcus lilacinus. To understand the phenomenon of differential organisation we have analysed the components of NRC by cloning the DNA sequences present, deciphering their primary sequence, nucleosomal organisation, genomic distri-bution and cytological localisation. Our observations suggest that the middle repetitive sequences within NRC are functionally significant and we discuss their probable involvement in male-specific chromatin organisation. (+info)