Pararetroviruses, diseases, integration and genomes


Trude Schwarzacher and Leicester Results from Paradigm Publications/references


Links to project information: Endogenous Pararetroviruses - Objectives - Workplan - Contact


Endogenous pararetroviruses in the plant genome

Chromosomes of Petunia hybrida ‘Himmelsroeschen’ after DAPI staining (blue) and in situ hybridization with Petunia Vein Clearing Virus probe (red) and 5S rDNA (green). See Richert-Poeggeler et al. (2003) for more detail.  

The team in Leicester, lead by Dr Trude Schwarzacher is coordinating WPI and plays a leading role in examining the organisation and diversity of EPRV and related sequences in the host plant nuclear genome. We have developed universal tools to isolate EPRVs from a number of crops where EPRV activation has already been observed, and investigated the biodiversity represented in EPRV sequences. By examination of short and long clones, and by PCR, we are determining the nature, organisation and sequence relationships of EPRVs between accessions of two target species groups, examining the copy numbers and chromosomal arrangement, long-range organisation and fine structure of EPRVs. We are developing evolutionary and structural models of EPRVs that allow us to predict infection and expression routes. In the final task, partners are designing molecular tools for identifying candidate EPRVs in any species, concentrating on five major European crops and implementing them for routine screening; results, probes and primers will be delivered. We will develop S-SAP-based and inverse PCR (I-PCR) approaches for the characterisation of EPRVs integration sites and develop methods for the analysis of longer range flanking sequences.

Banana chromosomes stained with DAPI (blue) and after in situ hybridization with Banana Streak Virus probe (red). Two to eight integration sites have been detected (arrows). See Harper et al. (1999) for details  

Pararetrovirus Publications

Harper, G., Osuji, J.O., Heslop-Harrison, P., Hull, R. (1999). Integration of banana streak badnavirus into the Musa genome : molecular evidence. Virology 255: 207-213.

Teo CH, Tan SH, Othman YR, Schwarzacher T (2002) The cloning of Ty 1-copia-like retrotransposons from 10 varieties of banana (Musa sp). Journal of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics 6,193-201.

Richert-Pöggeler, K.R., Noreen, F., Schwarzacher, T., Harper, G. and Hohn, T. (2003) Induction of infectious Petunia vein clearing (pararetro) virus from endogenous provirus in petunia. EMBO Journal 22: 4836-4845.

Hansen CN, and Heslop-Harrison JS (2004) Sequences and Phylogenies of Plant Pararetroviruses, Viruses and Transposable Elements. Advances in Botanical Research 41: 165-193.

Hansen CN, Harper G, and Heslop-Harrison JS (2004) Characterization of pararetrovirus-like sequences in the genome of potato (Solanum tuberosum). Cytogenetic and Genome Research 2005;110:559-565 (DOI: 10.1159/000084989)

Enquiries may be made to Dr Trude Schwarzacher on 0116 252 2276, email TS32(a), web page