Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) is responsible for a widespread disease in vineyards worldwide. Its genome is composed of two single-stranded positive-sense RNAs, which both show a high genetic diversity. The virus is transmitted from grapevine to grapevine by the ectoparasitic nematode Xiphinema index. Grapevines in diseased vineyards are often infected by multiple genetic variants of GFLV but no information is available on the molecular composition of virus variants retained in X. index following nematodes feeding on roots. In this work, aviruliferous X. index were fed on three naturally GFLV-infected grapevines for which the virome was characterized by RNAseq. Six RNA-1 and four RNA-2 molecules were assembled segregating into four and three distinct phylogenetic clades of RNA-1 and RNA-2, respectively. After 19 months of rearing, single and pools of 30 X. index tested positive for GFLV. Additionally, either pooled or single X. index carried multiple variants of the two GFLV genomic RNAs. However, the full viral genetic diversity found in the leaves of infected grapevines was not detected in viruliferous nematodes, indicating a genetic bottleneck. Our results provide new insights into the complexity of GFLV populations and the putative role of X. index as reservoirs of virus diversity.
Keywords: GFLV; High Throughput Sequencing (HTS), detection; Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP); Vitis vinifera; Xiphinema index; acquisition; bottleneck; genetic diversity; variants.