Characterization of mutants of the chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) with unusual hypovirus symptoms

Md Iqbal Faruk, Masatoshi Izumimoto, Nobuhiro Suzuki

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The type virus of the family Hypoviridae, Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 strain EP713 (CHV1-EP713), infects Cryphonectria parasitica, the filamentous causal fungus of chestnut blight, and reduces its virulence. This pathosystem serves as a model to study fungus-mycovirus interactions. We previously developed a genetic screening protocol for host factors associated with symptom induction by CHV1-EP713 and its mutants. In the procedure the standard field fungal isolate EP155 was transformed by cDNA from a mild hypovirus mutant Cys(72), launching virus infection, and mutagenized by random plasmid insertion with pHygR conferring hygromycin resistance. We now report an extension of the study to characterize different mutant strains, with different phenotypes than their parental strain TCys(72)-1. TCys(72)-1 is moderately reduced in pigmentation and sporulation compared to the uninfected wild-type strain EP155. Mutants sfb1, sfb2 and k202 were characterized biologically and molecularly in comparison to the previously isolated mutant (namA) and the parental strain. These mutants harbored one (sfb1) or more copies (sfb2 and k202) of the mutagenic plasmid, pHygR. The three mutants had similar biological attributes; that is, vegetative growth rate, conidiation and virulence (assay on apples) was reduced on potato dextrose agar media, relative to the parental strain and pigmentation was the same or slightly increased. Interestingly, viral dsRNA accumulation levels were apparently unaltered in these mutants. The screening method was efficient for mining fungal mutants with unusual hypovirus symptoms. Further, characterization of the mutants provides interesting insights into symptom induction by the hypovirus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Plant Pathology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Chestnut blight fungus
  • Cryphonectria parasitica
  • Host factor
  • Hypovirus
  • Mycovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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