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A protein key to plant virus transmission at the tip of the insect vector stylet

Résumé : Hundreds of species of plant viruses, many of them economically important, are transmitted by noncirculative vector transmission (acquisition by attachment of virions to vector mouthparts and inoculation by subsequent release), but virus receptors within the vector remain elusive. Here we report evidence for the existence, precise location, and chemical nature of the first receptor for a noncirculative virus, cauliflower mosaic virus, in its insect vector. Electron microscopy revealed virus-like particles in a previously undescribed anatomical zone at the extreme tip of the aphid maxillary stylets. A novel in vitro interaction assay characterized binding of cauliflower mosaic virus protein P2 (which mediates virus–vector interaction) to dissected aphid stylets. A P2-GFP fusion exclusively labeled a tiny cuticular domain located in the bottom-bed of the common food/salivary duct. No binding to stylets of a non-vector species was observed, and a point mutation abolishing P2 transmission activity correlated with impaired stylet binding. The novel receptor appears to be a nonglycosylated protein deeply embedded in the chitin matrix. Insight into such insect receptor molecules will begin to open the major black box of this scientific field and might lead to new strategies to combat viral spread.
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Marilyne Uzest, Daniel Gargani, Martin Drucker, Eugénie Hébrard, Elisa Garzo, et al.. A protein key to plant virus transmission at the tip of the insect vector stylet. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2007, 104 (46), pp.17959-17964. ⟨10.1073/pnas.0706608104⟩. ⟨hal-02665211⟩

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