Specialists from the Kurchatov Center for Genome Research have studied the fig mosaic pathogen in detail for the first time. The results of the work are published in the journal Plant Disease.
Mosaic virus is so named because plants affected by it take on the characteristic coloration of leaves, stems or fruit. It is common in fig growing regions, including Russia, and can affect an average of up to one-third of plantings.
Samples were taken in Nikitsky Botanical Garden (Y a l t a). Scientists selected 5 9 fig trees with characteristic mosaic symptoms, isolated RNA from their leaves, sequenced and then bioinformatically analyzed the viral material.
“The full-genome sequencing capabilities of the Kurchatov Institute allow us to conduct genetic research at a new level. Using these technologies, we obtain exhaustive information about the structure of the genomes of biological objects under study. The results of sequencing allowed us to assess how fig mosaic disease viruses are structured, how they differ from each other, and how they can spread,” explained Sergey Rastorguev, head of the bioinformatics laboratory of the Kurchatov genomic center.
During the study, specialists identified five species of fig mosaic virus. Comparison of the obtained data with international databases of genetic information revealed that the Crimean samples of the virus by nucleotide sequence match the already known ones by more than 90%. At the same time, some samples have similarities with their Italian counterparts, while others have similarities with their Japanese counterparts. This suggests a complex and non-linear evolution of this group of pathogens.
The results of the study expand the knowledge about the geographical origin and pathways of the fig mosaic pathogen as well as about its genetic features.
Experts from Lomonosov Moscow State University and Nikitsky Botanical Garden also took part in the work.