Host effect on the genetic diversification of beet necrotic yellow vein virus single-plant populations.
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Theoretical models predict that, under restrictive host conditions, virus populations will exhibit greater genetic variability. This virus response has been experimentally demonstrated in a few cases but its relation with a virus's capability to overcome plant resistance is unknown. To explore the genetic host effects on Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) populations that might be related to resistance durability, a wild-type virus isolate was vector inoculated into partially resistant Rz1, Rz2, and susceptible sugar beet cultivars during a serial planting experiment. Cloning and sequencing a region of the viral RNA-3, involving the pathogenic determinant p25, revealed that virus diversity significantly increased in direct proportion to the strength of host resistance. Thus, whereas virus titers were highest, intermediate, and lowest in susceptible, Rz1, and Rz2 plants, respectively; the average number of nucleotide differences among single-plant populations was 0.8 (0.1) in susceptible, 1.4 (0.1) in Rz1, and 2.4 (0.2) in Rz2 genotypes. A similar relationship between host restriction to BNYVV root accumulation and virus genetic variability was detected in fields of sugar beet where these specific Rz1- and Rz2-mediated resistances have been defeated.