Facilitative and synergistic interactions between fungal and plant viruses

Ruiling Bian, Andika Ida Bagus, Tianxing Pang, Ziqian Lian, Shuang Wei, Erbo Niu, Yunfeng Wu, Hideki Kondo, Xili Liu, Liying Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Plants and fungi are closely associated through parasitic or symbiotic relationships in which bidirectional exchanges of cellular contents occur. Recently, a plant virus was shown to be transmitted from a plant to a fungus, but it is unknown whether fungal viruses can also cross host barriers and spread to plants. In this study, we investigated the infectivity of Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 (CHV1, family Hypoviridae), a capsidless, positive-sense (+), single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) fungal virus in a model plant, Nicotiana tabacum. CHV1 replicated in mechanically inoculated leaves but did not spread systemically, but coinoculation with an unrelated plant (+)ssRNA virus, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV, family Virgaviridae), or other plant RNA viruses, enabled CHV1 to systemically infect the plant. Likewise, CHV1 systemically infected transgenic plants expressing the TMV movement protein, and coinfection with TMV further enhanced CHV1 accumulation in these plants. Conversely, CHV1 infection increased TMV accumulation when TMV was introduced into a plant pathogenic fungus, Fusarium graminearum. In the in planta F. graminearum inoculation experiment, we demonstrated that TMV infection of either the plant or the fungus enabled the horizontal transfer of CHV1 from the fungus to the plant, whereas CHV1 infection enhanced fungal acquisition of TMV. Our results demonstrate two-way facilitative interactions between the plant and fungal viruses that promote cross-kingdom virus infections and suggest the presence of plant–fungal-mediated routes for dissemination of fungal and plant viruses in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3779-3788
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 18 2020


  • Cross-kingdom
  • Infection
  • Mycovirus
  • Plant virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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