Interspecies/Intergroup Complementation of Orthotospovirus Replication and Movement through Reverse Genetics Systems

Mingfeng Feng, Minglong Chen, Yulong Yuan, Qinhai Liu, Ruixiang Cheng, Tongqing Yang, Luyao Li, Rong Guo, Yongxin Dong, Jing Chen, Yawen Yang, Yuling Yan, Hongmin Cui, Dong Jing, Jinrui Kang, Shuxian Chen, Jia Li, Min Zhu, Changjun Huang, Zhongkai ZhangRichard Kormelink, Xiaorong Tao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Orthotospoviruses, the plant-infecting bunyaviruses, cause serious diseases in agronomic crops and pose major threats to global food security. The family of Tospoviridae contains more than 30 members that are classified into two geographic groups, American-type and Euro/Asian-type orthotospovirus. However, the genetic interaction between different species and the possibility, during mixed infections, for transcomplementation of gene functions by orthotospoviruses from different geographic groups remains underexplored. In this study, minireplicon-based reverse genetics (RG) systems have been established for Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) (an American-type orthotospovirus) and for Calla lily chlorotic spot virus and Tomato zonate spot virus (CCSV and TZSV) (two representative Euro/Asian orthotospoviruses). Together with the earlier established RG system for Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), a type species of the Orthotospovirus American-clade, viral replicase/movement proteins were exchanged and analyzed on interspecies transcomplementation. Whereas the homologous RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and nucleocapsid (N) protein supported the replication of orthotospoviruses from both geographic groups, heterologous combinations of RdRp from one group and N from the other group were unable to support the replication of viruses from both groups. Furthermore, the NSm movement protein (MP), from both geographic groups of orthotospoviruses, was able to transcomplement heterologous orthotospoviruses or a positive-strand Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in their movement, albeit with varying efficiency. MP from Rice stripe tenuivirus (RSV), a plant-infecting bunyavirus that is distinct from orthotospoviruses, or MP from CMV also moves orthotospoviruses. Our findings gain insights into the genetic interaction/reassortant potentials for the segmented plant orthotospoviruses. IMPORTANCE Orthotospoviruses are agriculturally important negative-strand RNA viruses and cause severe yield-losses on many crops worldwide. Whereas the emergence of new animal-infecting bunyaviruses is frequently associated with genetic reassortants, this issue remains underexposed with the plant-infecting orthotospovirus. With the development of reverse genetics systems for orthotospoviruses from different geographic regions, the interspecies/intergroup replication/movement complementation between American- and Euro/Asian-type orthotospoviruses were investigated. Genomic RNAs from American orthotospoviruses can be replicated by the RdRp and N from those of Euro/Asia-group orthotospoviruses, and vice versa. However, their genomic RNAs cannot be replicated by a heterologous combination of RdRp from one geographic group and N from another geographic group. Cell-to-cell movement of viral entity is supported by NSm from both geographic groups, with highest efficiency by NSm from viruses belonging to the same group. Our findings provide important insights into the genetic interaction and exchange ability of viral gene functions between different species of orthotospovirus.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01809-22
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023


  • cell-to-cell movement
  • orthotospovirus
  • Plant negative-stranded RNA viruses
  • replication
  • reverse genetics system


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