Transmissions of virus using the aphid were performed using plants co-infected with two cucumoviruses, tomato aspermy virus (V-TAV) and cucumber mosaic virus (M-CMV). Five of the aphidtransmitted progeny viruses (3.7%) induced symptoms distinct from those induced by either parental virus. Northern blot hybridization analysis of encapsidated RNAs from these novel progeny demonstrated that all of the RNA profiles were characteristic of pseudorecombinants, i.e. viruses with reassorted genomic RNAs. The two larger RNAs, 1 and 2, originated from V-TAV, whereas RNA 3 was derived from M-CMV. A more sensitive RNase protection assay analysis of both unencapsidated and encapsidated RNAs revealed the presence of minor populations of V-TAV-derived RNA 3 in all of these novel progeny, and of M-CMV-derived RNA 1 (and presumably RNA 2) in one of the progeny. A bias against the encapsidation of the minor populations of RNAs by the M-CMV coat protein was observed, suggesting that there is specificity or competition with regard to the encapsidation of cucumoviral RNAs . This study demonstrates that insect vectors can mediate the establishment of pseudorecombinants with mixed populations of RNA 3.


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