Transcriptome studies of Illumina RNA-Seq datasets of different Arabidopsis thaliana natural accessions and T-DNA mutants revealed the presence of two virus-like RNA sequences which showed the typical two-segmented genome characteristics of a comovirus. This comovirus did not induce any visible symptoms in infected A. thaliana plants cultivated under standard laboratory conditions. Hence it was named Arabidopsis latent virus 1 (ArLV1). Virus infectivity in A. thaliana plants was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, transmission electron microscopy and mechanical inoculation. Arabidopsis latent virus 1 can also mechanically infect Nicotiana benthamiana, causing distinct mosaic symptoms. A bioinformatics investigation of A. thaliana RNA-Seq repositories, including nearly 6500 Sequence Read Archives (SRAs) in the NCBI SRA database, revealed the presence of ArLV1 in 25% of all archived natural A. thaliana accessions and in 8.5% of all analyzed SRAs. Arabidopsis latent virus 1 could also be detected in A. thaliana plants collected from the wild. Arabidopsis latent virus 1 is highly seed-transmissible with up to 40% incidence on the progeny derived from infected A. thaliana plants. This has probably led to a worldwide distribution in the model plant A. thaliana with as yet unknown effects on plant performance in a substantial number of studies.
- Arabidopsis latent virus 1 (ArLV1)
- Arabidopsis thaliana
- drought resilience
- RNA sequencing
- sequence read archives