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  • 1 Corvinus University of Budapest Department of Plant Physiology and Plant Biochemistry, Faculty of Horticultural Science Villányi út 29-43 Budapest H-1118 Hungary
  • 2 Corvinus University of Budapest Department of Vegetable and Mushroom Growing, Faculty of Horticultural Science Villányi út 29-43 Budapest H-1118 Hungary
  • 3 Eszterházy Károly College Department of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry Leányka u. 6-8 Eger H-3300 Hungary
  • 4 Agriensis Kft Pacsirta u. 16 Nagytálya H-3398 Hungary
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Mycoviruses are known to infect fungi of different habitats and life style. Some of them, like the Mushroom Virus X (MVX) complex, cause abnormal development of fruiting bodies and severe yield losses in mushroom cultivation. Most mycoviruses have a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) genome, therefore dsRNA-detection is frequently used as a first step to identify virus infection. In relation with MVX 23 dsRNAs species have been described, occurring in variable number and combination in diseased mushrooms. The aim of our experiments was to find out whether dsRNA-immunoblotting can be used to detect dsRNA in small samples of cultivated A. bisporus varieties and of wild growing Agaricus species. We found that by immunoblotting, the same dsRNA species were detected in apparently healthy cultivated champignon fruiting bodies and in MVX-infected reference samples, respectively, as by conventional CF11 chromatography, but for immunoblotting a much smaller sample size was needed. In two out of three deformed fruit bodies of cultivated A. bisporus from Hungary we detected a 4.1 kbp dsRNA species which was also present in the MVX infected reference samples. Diverse and variable dsRNA patterns were observed in apparently healthy samples of 12 wild growing Agaricus species, indicating that extreme care should be taken when non-cultivated Agaricus is used for breeding new varieties. Non-sterile cultures and environmental mushroom specimens are fairly often mixed with parasitic and endofungal organisms, therefore, we also tested fungi isolated from mushroom cultures. Here again, 1–7 dsRNA species were found in extracts of Trichoderma and Dactylium isolates and of Mycogone-infected sporophores. Our results demonstrate clearly that dsRNAs from very different origins can be present in cultivated champignon and support the view that the MVX symptom-associated dsRNAs are probably of polyphyletic origin and do not represent one defined virus.

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