Plant virologists Dr. Björn Krenz and Dr. Stephan Winter from the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH in Braunschweig and his colleagues have identified a new parsley virus and published in the peer-review journal Archives of Virology (https://link.springer.com/article /10.1007%2Fs00705-019-04280-3).The newly described plant virus was isolated from parsley plants in a garden in Weddel, a district of Cremlingen, near the city of Braunschweig in Lower Saxony. The infected parsley showed dwarfism compared to healthy plants, which could lead to economic losses due to crop loss if the virus spreads.

New nanovirus identified
Using next-generation sequencing at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ, scientists were able to classify the newly identified virus as a nanovirus. The parsley virus genome sequence revealed that it is a new member of the family Nanoviridae. These are multipartite single-stranded DNA viruses that otherwise only infect legumes such as beans, peas or lentils. The host range of nanoviruses has thus expanded, says plant virus researcher Björn Krenz. The virus is called "parsley severe stunt-associated virus" (PSSaV) and has meanwhile been found in other parts of Germany.

Plant virus research at the DSMZ
Doctor Björn Krenz leads the junior research group VirusInteract at the Leibniz-Institut DSMZ and conducts research with his team on the complex interactions between plants and viruses. The Department of Plant Viruses of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ not only carries out basic research but also the development of diagnostics. It is accredited according to ISO 17034 as a reference material manufacturer. The Leibniz Institute DSMZ is the world's most diverse collection of bioresources and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In addition to the jubilee event in November 2019, a journalism seminar "Microbes can do more than make sick!" will take place on September 23, 2019, during which the institute's exciting collection and research activities will be presented.

Original Publication:
Identification of a novel nanovirus in parsley. Vetten HJ, Knierim D, Rakoski MS, Menzel W, Maiss E, Gronenborn B, Winter S, Krenz B. Arch Virol. 2019 May 11th doi: 10.1007 / s00705-019-04280-3. [Epub ahead of print]