Main content area

Beta vulgaris mitovirus 1 in diverse cultivars of beet and chard

Vong, Minh, Manny, Austin R., Smith, Kathryn L., Gao, William, Nibert, Max L.
Virus research 2019 v.265 pp. 80-87
Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Mitovirus, RNA, ancestry, beets, breeding lines, chard, cultivars, cytoplasmic male sterility, fungi, humans, mitochondria, monophyly, phytobiome, sugar beet, viruses
Recent results indicate that mitoviruses, which replicate persistently in host mitochondria, are not restricted to fungi, but instead are found also in plants. Beta vulgaris mitovirus 1 (BevuMV1) is an example first discovered in sugar beet cultivars. For the current study, complete coding sequences of 42 BevuMV1 strains were newly determined, derived from not only sugar beet but also fodder beet, table beet, and Swiss chard cultivars of Beta vulgaris, as well as wild sea beet. BevuMV1 is thus a common phytobiome component of this valuable crop species. Most of the new BevuMV1 sequences originated from RNA extracted from B. vulgaris seed clusters, consistent with vertical transmission of this virus. Results suggest that BevuMV1 entered the B. vulgaris lineage prior to human cultivation and also provides a marker for tracing the maternal ancestry of B. vulgaris cultivars. Especially notable is the monophyletic relationship and limited sequence divergence among BevuMV1 strains from cultivars that are thought or shown to share the “Owen” trait for cytoplasmic male sterility, which is transmitted by maternal mitochondria and has been broadly established in commercial breeding lines of B. vulgaris since the mid-20th century.