The detection of Citrus tristeza virus genetic variants using pathogen specific electronic probes

Jooste, Tracey (2017-03)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), a complex pathogen of citrus spp., is endemic to South Africa and has been responsible for great losses locally and internationally. CTV causes severe stem pitting in grapefruit, which forms an important sector of South Africa's citrus production and export market. The limited understanding of CTV’s ability to cause severe disease in one host while no symptoms in another restricts the implementation of effective management strategies. The conservation of plant biosecurity relies on the rapid identification of pathogenic organisms including viruses. While there are many molecular assays available for the detection of plant viruses, these are often limited in their ability to test for multiple viruses simultaneously. However, with next-generation sequencing (NGS) based metagenomic analysis it is possible to detect multiple viruses within a sample, including low-titre and novel viruses, at the same time. Conventional NGS data analysis has computational limitations during contig assembly and similarity searches in sequence databases, which prolongs the time required for a diagnostic result. In this study, an alternative targeted method was explored for the simultaneous detection of 11 recognised citrus viruses in NGS data using electronic probes (e-probes). E-probes were designed, optimised and screened against raw, unassembled NGS data in order to minimise the bioinformatic processing time required. The e-probes were able to accurately detect their cognate viruses in simulated datasets, without any false negatives or positives. The efficiency of the e-probe based approach was validated with NGS datasets generated from different RNA preparations: dsRNA from ‘Mexican’ lime infected with different CTV genotypes, dsRNA from field samples, as well as small RNA and total RNA from grapefruit infected with the CTV T3 genotype. A set of probes were made publically available that is able to accurately detect CTV in NGS data irrespective of which genotype the plants are infected with. The results were confirmed by performing de novo assemblies of the high quality read datasets and subsequent BLAST analyses. This sequence based detection method eliminates the need for NGS data assembly, ultimately reducing the virus-detection turnaround time.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), ’n komplekse patogeen van sitrusspesies, is endemies aan Suid-Afrika en doen verantwoording vir groot verlies op beide plaaslike sowel as internasionale vlak. CTV veroorsaak terselfdertyd noodlottige en ernstige stam-uitputting in pomelo’s, wat ’n belangrike sektor van Suid-Afrika se sitrusproduksie- en uitvoermark vorm. Die beperkte begrip van CTV se vermoë om ernstige siektetoestande in een gasheer te veroorsaak, terwyl geen simptome in ander gashere voordoen nie, beperk die implementering van effektiewe bestuurstrategieë. Die behoud van plant-biosekuriteit maak staat op die spoedige identifisering van patogeniese organismes, met virusse daarby ingesluit. Terwyl daar menigte molekulêre toetse vir die opsporing van plantvirusse beskikbaar is, blyk dit dat hierdie juiste toetse dikwels beperkte vermoë toon om gelyktydig vir veelvuldige virusse te toets. Nietemin, met volgende-generasie volgordebepaling (NGS) gebaseerde metagenomiese analise, is dit moontlik om veelvuldige virusse terselfdertyd binne ’n monster op te spoor, insluitend lae titer- en onbekende virusse. Konvensionele NGS data analise beskik oor rekenaar beperkinge tydens die samestelling van “contigs” sowel as ooreenkoms soektogte in volgorde gebaseerde databasisse, wat gevolglik die tyd wat versoek word vir ’n diagnostiese resultaat, verleng. In hierdie studie word ’n alternatiewe geteikende metode ondersoek vir die gelyktydige opsporing van 11 sitrus virusse in NGS data deur die gebruik van elektroniese probes, bekend as “e-probes”. Hierdie “e-probes” was ontwerp, optimaliseer en gekeur binne onverwerkte NGS data om sodoende die bioinformatiese prosesseringstyd wat vereis word, te minimaliseer. Die “e-probes” was in staat om hul verwante virusse in gesimuleerde datastelle akkuraat op te spoor, sonder enige onwaar negatiewes of positiewes. Die doeltreffendheid van die “e-probe” gebaseerde benadering was bekragtig deur NGS datastelle wat versamel is vanuit verskillende RNS voorbereidings: dsRNS vanuit ‘Meksikaanse’ lemmetjie besmet met verskillende CTV genotipes; dsRNS vanuit veld-monsters sowel as sRNS en RNS vanuit pomelo’s besmet met die CTV T3 genotipe. ’n Stel van elektroniese probes was binne openbare domeine beskikbaar gestel wat in staat is om CTV in NGS data akkuraat op te spoor, ongeag van watter genotipe die plante mee besmet is. Die resultate was bevestig deur “de novo” samestellings van hoogstaande kwaliteit datastelle en daaropvolgende BLAST-analises uit te voer. Hierdie volgorde-gebaseerde opsporingsmetode elimineer die behoefte vir de novo samestellings van NGS data en verminder gevolglik die virusopsporing-omkeertyd.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100965
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