Natural genetic variation determines the susceptibility of hosts to viruses. Here, we have used the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and its natural pathogen the Orsay virus to unravel the genetic architecture of viral resistance.
Via a quantitative trait locus (QTL) and introgression line (IL) mapping we determined that genetic variation on chromosome IV between the reference strain N2 and the Hawaiian strain CB4856 determine viral susceptibility. CRISPR/Cas9-based swapping of the N2 and CB4856 allele of cul-6 revealed that this cullin gene contributes to varying viral susceptibility between these strains. Together, this study provides new insight into the genetic architecture of viral resistance in the nematode C. elegans. This study will be published in the Journal of Virology (vol. 95, no. 12 (2021)) and an illustration of the study will be shown on the cover of the journal.