Penetration of pollen tubes with accumulated Raspberry bushy dwarf virus into stigmas is involved in initial infection of maternal tissue and horizontal transmission.

Research paper by Masamichi M Isogai, Tetu T Yoshida, Chiaki C Nakanowatari, Nobuyuki N Yoshikawa

Indexed on: 13 Mar '14Published on: 13 Mar '14Published in: Virology


Torenia fournieri (Torenia) plants were infected with Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV) by pollination with RBDV-infected raspberry pollen grains. The infected raspberry pollen grains germinated on Torenia stigmas, and then the pollen tubes penetrated into the stigma, even though the pollen tubes were arrested in the styles. In whole-mount in situ hybridization of germinating infected raspberry pollen grains, RBDV accumulated in the tips of the pollen tubes. Tissue blot hybridization of Torenia plants pollinated with infected raspberry pollen grains revealed that the first virus infection site leading to systemic infection is the stigma. When infected raspberry pollen grains that had lost germination capacity were pollinated on Torenia stigmas, RBDV could not infect the stigmas, and no horizontal transmission occurred. These results indicate that penetration of pollen tubes with accumulated RBDV into stigmas is essential in causing the first viral infection in the stigma to lead to systemic infection.