Double-stranded RNA bands were detected electrophoretically in about 7% of natural isolates and in 13 of 51 collection strains belonging in section Nigri of the genus Aspergillus. The identity of these bands was proved by S1 nuclease and RNase treatment. Most of the virus-containing natural isolates came from Indonesia. Electron microscopic examination of the strains revealed the presence of virus-like particles in the mycelia of the strains examined. All of the virus-like particles were isometric and their size was around 30-35 nm, while some Indonesian isolates also contained virus-like particles in the size range 23-25 nm. It was possible to cure some of these strains of virus-like particles by mutagenic treatment. The four strains tested lost their virus-like particles and also their 'arginine-proline leaky' phenotype and became prototrophic. Virus transfer was possible among these four strains by protoplast fusion. It also proved possible to transfer mycoviruses into a more distantly related Aspergillus tubingensis strain by prolonged incubation of the polyethylene glycol treated protoplasts in osmotically stabilized medium. In spite of the finding that all Aspergillus foetidus and both Aspergillus heteromorphus strains examined contained double-stranded RNA segments and virus-like particles, no phenotypes related to the presence of these VLPs have been observed so far.
- Aspergillus niger
- virus-like particles (VLPs)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology