Cotton Virus A: Study and Characterization of a New DNA Virus

April 2024 | 37 min., 7 sec.
by Michelle Heck and Alejandro Olmedo-Velarde
USDA-ARS and Cornell University


​This webinar addresses efforts to study and characterize cotton virus A (CotV-A), a new DNA virus found in U.S. cotton fields. CotV-A was initially found in Mississippi fields in plants presenting symptoms commonly associated with cotton leafroll dwarf virus. Like its relatives in the same DNA virus family, CotV-A endogenous sequences were found integrated into the genome of commercial cotton species and wild relatives, as revealed by computational analyses. Although it is unclear if CotV-A may cause virus symptoms in infected plants by itself, the possible seed-borne and vector-borne nature of other related DNA viruses in the same family underscores the importance of future research endeavors.

About the Presenter

​Michelle Heck Michelle Heck is a research molecular biologist and lead scientist for the Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research Unit of the USDA-ARS in Ithaca, New York. She also is an associate professor at the Boyce-Thompson Institute, School of Integrated Science, Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, at Cornell University in Ithaca. Her research uses a combination of molecular, genetic, and proteomics approaches to understand how insects transmit plant pathogens and how pathogens manipulate host plants to ensure replication and transmission.

Alejandro Olmedo-Velarde Alejandro Olmedo-Velarde is a postdoctoral associate in the School of Integrated Science, Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He works on cotton leafroll dwarf virus and other aphid-transmitted viruses in Dr. Heck’s lab, focusing on virus-host and virus-vector interactions with the goal of producing new management approaches.

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