Agroinoculation of Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus in tobacco and grapevine provides insights on viral pathogenesis

PLoS One. 2019 Mar 19;14(3):e0214010. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214010. eCollection 2019.


The Grapevine Pinot Gris disease (GPG-d) is a novel disease characterized by symptoms such as leaf mottling and deformation, which has been recently reported in grapevines, and mostly in Pinot gris. Plants show obvious symptoms at the beginning of the growing season, while during summer symptom recovery frequently occurs, manifesting as symptomless leaves. A new Trichovirus, named Grapevine Pinot gris virus (GPGV), which belongs to the family Betaflexiviridae was found in association with infected plants. The detection of the virus in asymptomatic grapevines raised doubts about disease aetiology. Therefore, the primary target of this work was to set up a reliable system for the study of the disease in controlled conditions, avoiding interfering factor(s) that could affect symptom development. To this end, two clones of the virus, pRI::GPGV-vir and pRI::GPGV-lat, were generated from total RNA collected from one symptomatic and one asymptomatic Pinot gris grapevine, respectively. The clones, which encompassed the entire genome of the virus, were used in Agrobacterium-mediated inoculation of Vitis vinifera and Nicotiana benthamiana plants. All inoculated plants developed symptoms regardless of their inoculum source, demonstrating a correlation between the presence of GPGV and symptomatic manifestations. Four months post inoculum, the grapevines inoculated with the pRI::GPGV-lat clone developed asymptomatic leaves that were still positive to GPGV detection. Three to four weeks later (i.e. ca. 5 months post inoculum), the same phenomenon was observed in the grapevines inoculated with pRI::GPGV-vir. This observation perfectly matches symptom progression in infected field-grown grapevines, suggesting a possible role for plant antiviral mechanisms, such as RNA silencing, in the recovery process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agrobacterium / virology
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Flexiviridae / genetics
  • Flexiviridae / pathogenicity*
  • Flexiviridae / ultrastructure
  • Genome, Viral
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nicotiana / ultrastructure
  • Nicotiana / virology*
  • Plant Diseases / virology*
  • Plant Leaves / ultrastructure
  • Plant Leaves / virology
  • Virulence
  • Vitis / ultrastructure
  • Vitis / virology*


  • DNA, Viral

Grants and funding

The work presented in this manuscript has been funded by Regione Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy) CUP: F22I15000110002. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.