PLOS ONE: Turnip Mosaic Potyvirus Probably First Spread to Eurasian Brassica Crops from Wild Orchids about 1000 Years Ago (2013) | moleculas-de-la-vida |

Turnip mosaic potyvirus (TuMV) is probably the most widespread and damaging virus that infects cultivated brassicas worldwide. Previous work has indicated that the virus originated in western Eurasia, with all of its closest relatives being viruses of monocotyledonous plants. Here we report that we have identified a sister lineage of TuMV-like potyviruses (TuMV-OM) from European orchids. The isolates of TuMV-OM form a monophyletic sister lineage to the brassica-infecting TuMVs (TuMV-BIs), and are nested within a clade of monocotyledon-infecting viruses. Extensive host-range tests showed that all of the TuMV-OMs are biologically similar to, but distinct from, TuMV-BIs and do not readily infect brassicas. We conclude that it is more likely that TuMV evolved from a TuMV-OM-like ancestor than the reverse. We did Bayesian coalescent analyses using a combination of novel and published sequence data from four TuMV genes [helper component-proteinase protein (HC-Pro), protein 3(P3), nuclear inclusion b protein (NIb), and coat protein (CP)]. Three genes (HC-Pro, P3, and NIb), but not the CP gene, gave results indicating that the TuMV-BI viruses diverged from TuMV-OMs around 1000 years ago. Only 150 years later, the four lineages of the present global population of TuMV-BIs diverged from one another. These dates are congruent with historical records of the spread of agriculture in Western Europe. From about 1200 years ago, there was a warming of the climate, and agriculture and the human population of the region greatly increased. Farming replaced woodlands, fostering viruses and aphid vectors that could invade the crops, which included several brassica cultivars and weeds. Later, starting 500 years ago, inter-continental maritime trade probably spread the TuMV-BIs to the remainder of the world.

Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL