|Abstract in English:|
An effective disease-control strategy should protect the host from the major economically important and geographically widespread variants of a pathogen. Plum pox virus (PPV) is the causal agent of sharka, the most devastating viral disease of Prunus species. We have shown previously that the hairpin RNA expression driven by h-UTR/P1, h-P1/HCPro, h-HCPro and h-HCPro/P3 constructs, derived from the PPV-M ISPaVe44 isolate, confers resistance to the homologous virus in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. Since the production of transgenic stone fruits and their evaluation for PPV resistance would take several years, the ISPaVe44-resistant plant lines were used to evaluate which construct would be the best candidate to be transferred to Prunus elite cultivars. To do that, nine PPV isolates of the D, M, Rec, EA and C strains originally collected from five Prunus species in different geographical areas, were typed by sequencing and used to challenge the transgenic N. benthamiana lines; 464 out of 464 virus-inoculated plants of lines h-UTR/P1, h-HCPro and h-HCPro/P3 showed complete and long-lasting resistance to the seven PPV isolates of D, M and Rec strains. Moreover, the h-UTR/P1 plants were also fully resistant to PPV-C and -EA isolates. Our data suggest that the h-UTR/P1 construct is of particular practical interest to obtain stone fruit plants resistant to the sharka disease.