Genetic bottlenecks reduce population variation in an experimental RNA virus population

Hongye Li, Marilyn J. Roossinck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


Genetic bottlenecks are stochastic events that limit genetic variation in a population and result in founding populations that can lead to genetic drift. Evidence of past genetic bottlenecks in numerous biological systems, from mammals to viruses, has been described. In this study, we used an artificial population of Cucumber mosaic virus consisting of 12 restriction enzyme marker-bearing mutants. This population was inoculated onto young leaves of tobacco plants and monitored throughout the course of systemic infection. We show here that the genetic variation in a defined population of an RNA virus is significantly, stochastically, and reproducibly reduced during the systemic infection process, providing clear evidence of a genetic bottleneck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10582-10587
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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