Detecção do vírus da leprose dos citros nos tecidos da planta infectada e do ácaro vetor Brevipalpus phoenicis Geijskes (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) / Detection of Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C) in the tissues of infected plants and of mite vector Brevipalpus phoenicis Geijskes (Acari: Tenuipalpidae)




Citrus leprosis is one of the most important diseases in the Brazilian citrus production due to the wide occurrence in orchards and also to the high costs involved in the chemical control of the mite vector. The disease affects the plant production and longevity and it is characterized by localized chlorotic and/or necrotic spots on the leaves, stems and fruits. Affected leaves and fruits may drop prematurely and dieback can be observed in stems. The pathogen, Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C), recently considered as the type member of a new genus, Cilevirus, is transmitted by the mite Brevipalpus phoenicis Geijskes. Despite the consensus that citrus leprosis has viral etiology, there are many pending questions regarding the viral interactions with the infected plant and the viruliferous mites. The solution of these questions may contribute to a better disease integrated management. This work aimed to obtain a better understanding about the virus-plant-vector relationship with the host cell by immunolocalization assays of the putative movement protein (MP), helicase (protein involved in the viral replication) and p29 (putative coat protein) of the CiLV-C. ORFs coding sequences of mp and hel was amplified by RT-PCR and cloned in the expression vector. Afterwards, in vitro expression of these proteins in E. coli and its purification by affinity chromatography were realized. The purified MP was used to produce specific polyclonal antibody that was tested for specificity by serological methods. The ELISA results showed that high concentration antibody reacted with the leaves extracts from lesions in all the disease stage of development. Furthermore, the old lesions reacted more intensely than the younger. Western blot (which detected only the pure protein) and in situ immunolocalization assays failed to detect the native MP in lesioned leave extracts. The results as a hole suggest the occurrence of low expression of MP in host tissue. The polyclonal antibody against p29 was able to detect the virus in lesioned plant extracts by PTA-ELISA, Western Blot, and Tissue Blotting. The viral nature of the putative viral particles, present within endoplasmic reticulum cisternae of infected leaf tissue, was confirmed by immunogold label. The labeling also occurred intensely in the viroplasmas, indicating that these structures represent p29 protein accumulation site. Putative virus particles, visualized in viruliferous B. phoenicis, between membranes of adjacent cells (midgut, prosomal glands, epidermis, muscles), was also immunogold labeled indicating that they represent CiLV-C. The absence of viroplasma in the mite tissues suggests that CiLV-C / B. phoenicis relationship is of the circulative type, without replication. Based on this finding, we search for possible alternatives for the viral circulation in the mite body from the midgut lumen to the salivary duct for the infection of a healthy plant to occur.


vetores de doenças de plantas antibodies citriculture imunohistoquímica citricultura proteins vírus plant. mites phytopathology fitopatologia proteínas vírus de plantas. immunohistochemical leprosis leprose vector of plant disease Ácaros anticorpos

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