Tospoviruses, the plant-infecting genus in the family Bunyaviridae, are thrips borne and cause severe agricultural losses worldwide. Based on the serological relationships of the structural nucleocapsid protein (NP), the current tospoviruses are divided into six serogroups. The use of NP-antisera is convenient for virus detection, but it is insufficient to identify virus species grouped in a serogroup due to the serological cross-reaction. Alternatively, virus species can be identified by the N gene amplification using specific primers. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is the type species of the genus Tospovirus and one of the most destructive plant viruses. Eight known tospoviruses, Alstroemeria necrotic streak virus (ANSV), Chrysanthemum stem necrosis virus (CSNV), Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV), Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV), Melon severe mosaic virus (MeSMV), Pepper necrotic spot virus (PNSV), Tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) and Zucchini lethal chlorosis virus (ZLCV), sharing serological relatedness with TSWV in NP, are grouped in the TSWV serogroup. Most of the TSWV-serogroup viruses prevail in Europe and America. An efficient diagnostic method is necessary for inspecting these tospoviruses in Asia, including Taiwan.
A microarray platform was developed for simultaneous detection and identification of TSWV-serogroup tospoviruses. Total RNAs extracted from Chenopodium quinoa leaves separately inoculated with ANSV, CSNV, GRSV, INSV, TCSV and TSWV were used for testing purposes. The 5'-biotinylated degenerate forward and reverse primers were designed from the consensus sequences of N genes of TSWV-serogroup tospoviruses for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification. Virus-specific oligonucleotide probes were spotted on the surface of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips to hybridize with PCR products. The hybridization signals were visualized by hydrolysis of NBT/BCIP with streptavidine-conjugated alkaline phosphatase. The microarray was further applied to diagnose virus infection in field crop samples.
Amplicons of approximately 0.46 kb were amplified from all tested TSWV-serogroup tospoviruses by RT-PCR using the degenerate primer pair Pr-dTS-f/Pr-dTS-r. Virus species were identified on chips by hybridization of PCR products with respective virus-specific probes. The microarray was successfully used to diagnose TSWV infection in field pepper samples.
In this study, a rapid, sensitive and precise microarray method has been developed to simultaneously detect and identify six TSWV-serogroup tospoviruses. The microarray platform provides a great potential to explore tospoviruses that can help researchers and quarantine staff to prevent invasions of tospoviruses.