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A new application of monolithic supports: The separation of viruses from one another

J. Ruscic, I. Gutiérrez-Aguirre, M. Tusek Znidaric, S. Kolundzija, A. Slana, M. Barut, M. Ravnikar, M. Krajacic
Journal of Chromatography A, 1388 (2015) 69–78

The emergence of next-generation "deep" sequencing has enabled the study of virus populations with much higher resolutions. This new tool increases the possibility of observing mixed infections caused by combinations of plant viruses, which are likely to occur more frequently than previously thought. The bio-logical impact of co-infecting viruses on their host has yet to be determined and fully understood, and the first step towards reaching this goal is the separation and purification of individual species. Ion-exchange monolith chromatography has been used successfully for the purification and concentration of different viruses, and number of them have been separated from plant homogenate or bacterial and eukaryoticlysate. Thus, the question remained as to whether different virus species present in a single sample could be separated. In this study, anion-exchange chromatography using monolithic supports was optimized for fast and efficient partial purification of three model plant viruses: Turnip yellow mosaic virus, Tomato bushy stunt virus, and Tobacco mosaic virus. The virus species, as well as two virus strains, were separated from each other in a single chromatographic experiment from an artificially mixed sample. Based on A260/280 ratios, we were able to attribute specific peaks to a certain viral morphology/structure (icosa-hedral or rod-shaped). This first separation of individual viruses from an artificially prepared laboratory mixture should encourage new applications of monolithic chromatographic supports in the separation of plant, bacterial, or animal viruses from all kinds of mixed samples.

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