Isolation and characterization of a virus-resistant mutant of Cryphonectria parasitica

James J. Polashock, Sandra L. Anagnostakis, Michael G. Milgroom, Bradley I. Hillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Hypovirulent strain NB58 of Cryphonectria parasitica contains a dsRNA virus with a genome size of approximately 12.5 kb. Although NB58 is very stable in culture, a phenotypically-distinct sector arose which was found to be dsRNA-free. Attempts to infect the mutant strain, termed NB58F, by pairing with the parent strain (NB58) or other conversion-compatible, virus-containing strains have been unsuccessful. DNA fingerprint analysis showed that NB58, NB58F, and a representative dsRNA-free single-conidial isolate of NB58 termed NB58-19, were isogenic. The mutant culture was phenotypically stable, and all single-conidial progeny had the NB58F morphology. NB58F was intermediate between NB58 and NB58-19 in laccase production and virulence. Pigmentation and sporulation of NB58F, however, were reduced to near the level of NB58. In mating studies, NB58F functioned only as the male in sexual crosses. The mutant phenotype (F) predominated by a ratio of 5:2 among the ascospore progeny of F-type x wild-type crosses. These data suggest the lesion is nuclear and may be associated with a chromosomal abnormality. Attempts to infect the NB58F-type ascospore progeny failed, whereas the wild-type progeny were successfully infected with strains compatible with one or the other parent at a frequency of about 34%. Hyphal anastomosis and movement of cytoplasmic material occurred when NB58F was paired with a compatible strain, suggesting that the lesion is involved in viral maintenance as opposed to initial virus infection. NB58F represents the first virus-resistant isolate of C. parasitica to be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-534
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


  • Chestnut blight
  • Cryphonectria parasitica
  • Fungal virus
  • Virus resistance


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation and characterization of a virus-resistant mutant of Cryphonectria parasitica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this