The dynamics of virus interference in Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) infection in cowpea were investigated by tissue-blotting and in situ hybridization. Using co-inoculation assays, we discovered that spatial competition between CMV-LE (subgroup I) and CMV-m2 (subgroup II) occurred in the inoculated leaves. Interestingly, competitive interactions between the two viruses also could be observed in the non-inoculated upper leaf tissues of the plants. Furthermore, the pattern of exclusive distribution was observed between challenge and protecting viruses in the serially inoculated leaves. Taken together, it is suggested that the dynamics of competitive interactions between the two subgroups could be characterized by exclusive infection and multiplication of the individual viruses in cowpea plants.
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