Virome release of an invasive exotic plant species in southern France - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Virus Evolution Year : 2024

Virome release of an invasive exotic plant species in southern France

Charlotte Julian
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1100890
Emmanuel Fernandez
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  • PersonId : 1100895
Laurence Blondin
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  • PersonId : 1204625
Armelle Marais
Darren P Martin
Thierry Candresse
Virginie Ravigné


The increase in human-mediated introduction of plant species to new regions has resulted in a rise of invasive exotic plant species (IEPS) that has had significant effects on biodiversity and ecosystem processes. One commonly accepted mechanism of invasions is that proposed by the enemy release hypothesis (ERH), which states that IEPS free from their native herbivores and natural enemies in new environments can outcompete indigenous species and become invasive. We here propose the virome release hypothesis (VRH) as a virus-centered variant of the conventional ERH that is only focused on enemies. The VRH predicts that vertically transmitted plant-associated viruses (PAV, encompassing phytoviruses and mycoviruses) should be co-introduced during the dissemination of the IEPS, while horizontally transmitted PAV of IEPS should be left behind or should not be locally transmitted in the introduced area due to a maladaptation of local vectors. To document the VRH, virome richness and composition as well as PAV prevalence, co-infection, host range, and transmission modes were compared between indigenous plant species and an invasive grass, cane bluestem (Bothriochloa barbinodis), in both its introduced range (southern France) and one area of its native range (Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA). Contrary to the VRH, we show that invasive populations of B. barbinodis in France were not associated with a lower PAV prevalence or richness than native populations of B. barbinodis from the USA. However, comparison of virome compositions and network analyses further revealed more diverse and complex plant-virus interactions in the French ecosystem, with a significant richness of mycoviruses. Setting mycoviruses apart, only one putatively vertically transmitted phytovirus (belonging to the Amalgaviridae family) and one putatively horizontally transmitted phytovirus (belonging to the Geminiviridae family) were identified from B. barbinodis plants in the introduced area. Collectively, these characteristics of the B. barbinodis-associated PAV community in southern France suggest that a virome release phase may have immediately followed the introduction of B. barbinodis to France in the 1960s or 1970s, and that, since then, the invasive populations of this IEPS have already transitioned out of this virome release phase, and have started interacting with several local mycoviruses and a few local plant viruses.
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hal-04562106 , version 1 (28-04-2024)


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Oumaima Moubset, Denis Filloux, Hugo Fontes, Charlotte Julian, Emmanuel Fernandez, et al.. Virome release of an invasive exotic plant species in southern France. Virus Evolution, 2024, 10 (1), pp.veae025. ⟨10.1093/ve/veae025⟩. ⟨hal-04562106⟩
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