Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) is a leading cause of cassava yield losses across eastern and central Africa and is having a severe impact on food security across the region. Despite its importance, relatively little is known about the mechanisms behind CBSD viral infections. We have recently reported the construction of Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV) infectious clones (IC), which can be used to gain insights into the functions of viral proteins and sequences associated with symptom development. In this study, we perform the first reporter gene tagging of a CBSV IC, with the insertion of green fluorescent protein (GFP) sequence at two different genome positions. Nicotiana benthamiana infections with the CBSV_GFP ICs revealed active CBSV replication in inoculated leaves at 2–5 days post inoculation (dpi) and systemic leaves at 10–14 dpi. We also constructed the chimera CBSV_UCP IC, consisting of the CBSV genome with a UCBSV coat protein (CP) sequence replacement. N. benthamiana infections with CBSV_UCP revealed that the CBSV CP may be associated with high levels of viral accumulation and necrosis development during early infection. These initial manipulations pave the way for U/CBSV ICs to be used to understand U/CBSV biology that will inform vital CBSD control strategies.
- Cassava brown streak virus
- Food security
- Infectious clones
- Ugandan cassava brown streak virus