Metagenomics monitoring of plant viruses in Canadian agricultural fruit production systems through honey bee pollination

Citation

Griffiths JS, Guarna MM, Pernal SF, Rott ME (2023) Metagenomics monitoring of plant viruses in Canadian agricultural fruit production systems through honey bee pollination. Tri-Society meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, p. 52, 17 – 21 June 2023, Ottawa, ON. https://phytopath.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Tri-Society-Conference-program-book.pdf

Résumé

Traditional monitoring of plant viruses can be limited to specific assays that only detect individual pathogens. High-throughput sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of multiple plant viruses using a single assay. Metagenomics-based approaches on samples acquired from multiple plants could allow for virus identification at an ecosystem level. Pollen is a unique pathway for the transmission of some plant viruses, which can then spread via pollinators. Commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollination is an important aspect of tree fruit and small berry production, worldwide. Honey bees can visit hundreds of flowers and multiple plants in one foraging trip. A metagenomics-based approach was used on samples including bees and pollen from hives located in blueberry, cherry and apple orchards. Twenty-nine unique plant viral species were identified in two blueberry production systems in BC, and a further 5 viruses at one farm in ON. Tomato ringspot virus and
Tobacco ringspot virus were common in ON but absent in BC, while blueberry shock virus (BlShV) and Blueberry scorch virus, were identified in BC but not ON. In addition, twenty viruses were detected in apple orchards and 12 viruses were detected from cherry orchards. BlShV Coat Protein (CP) sequences were nearly identical in all samples suggesting low diversity, while prune dwarf virus (PDV) CP sequences were much more
variable. Ilarviruses were common in all three types of fruit production systems, with prunus necrotic ringspot virus and PDV being particularly frequent and widespread.