Wheat virus identification within infected tissue using nanopore sequencing technology
13th February 2019 - plant disease
Viral diseases are a limiting factor to wheat production. Viruses are difficult to diagnose in the early stages of disease development and are often confused with nutrient deficiencies or other abiotic problems. Immunological methods are useful to identify viruses, but specific antibodies may not be available or require high virus titer for detection. In 2015 and 2017, wheat plants containing Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) resistance gene, Wsm2, were found to have symptoms characteristic of WSMV. Serologically, WSMV was detected in all four samples. Additionally, High Plains wheat mosaic virus (HPWMoV) was also detected in one of the samples. Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) was not detected and a detection kit was not readily available for Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV). Initially, cDNA cloning and Sanger sequencing were used to determine the presence of WSMV; however, the process was time-consuming and expensive. Subsequently, cDNA from infected wheat tissue was sequenced with single-strand Oxford Nanopore sequencing technology (ONT). ONT was able to confirm the presence of WSMV. Additionally, TriMV was found in all of the samples and BYDV in three of the samples. Deep coverage sequencing of full length, single-strand WSMV revealed variation compared to the WSMV Sidney-81 reference strain and may represent a new variants which overcome Wsm2. These results demonstrate that ONT can more accurately identify causal virus agents and has sufficient resolution to provide evidence of causal variants.