Infection of plants by Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus (ZYMV) induces severe ultrastructural changes. The aim of this study was to investigate ultrastructural changes during ZYMV-infection in Cucurbita pepo L. plants on the two and three dimensional (2D and 3D) level and to correlate these changes with the spread of ZYMV throughout the plant by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and image analysis.This study revealed that after inoculation of the cotyledons ZYMV moved into roots [3. days post inoculation (dpi)], then moved upwards into the stem and apical meristem (5. dpi), then into the first true leaf (7. dpi) and could finally be found in all plant parts (9. dpi). ZYMV-infected cells contained viral inclusion bodies in the form of cylindrical inclusions (CIs). These CIs occurred in four different forms throughout the cytosol of roots and leaves: scrolls and pinwheels when cut transversely and long tubular structures and bundles of filaments when cut longitudinally. 3D reconstruction of ZYMV-infected cells containing scrolls revealed that they form long tubes throughout the cytosol. The majority has a preferred orientation and an average length and width of 3. μm and 120. nm, respectively. Image analysis revealed an increased size of cells and vacuoles (107% and 447%, respectively) in younger ZYMV-infected leaves leading to a similar ratio of cytoplasm to vacuole (about 1:1) in older and younger ZYMV-infected leaves which indicates advanced cell growth in younger tissues. The collected data advances the current knowledge about ZYMV-induced ultrastructural changes in Cucurbita pepo. © 2014 The Authors.
Zellnig, G., Pöckl, M. H., Möstl, S., & Zechmann, B. (2014). Two and three dimensional characterization of Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus induced structural alterations in Cucurbita pepo L. plants. Journal of Structural Biology, 186(2), 245–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsb.2014.03.006