A survey for Peanut bud necrosis virus (PBNV), Watermelon bud necrosis virus (WBNV), Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV), and Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) was conducted between 2002 and 2009 in the major vegetable-growing areas in India. PBNV was documented widely in tomato and chili peppers in 14 states representing southern, north-western, north-eastern, and central regions and WBNV was predominantly detected in watermelons and cucurbits in all except north-eastern regions. In addition, the expanded host range of PBNV to watermelons and other cucurbits and WBNV to tomato and chili peppers was observed leading to natural mixed infection of the two viruses. IYSV was found in onion in southern, central, and north-eastern regions and CaCV in tomato and chili peppers in northern and southern regions, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of the nucleocapsid gene revealed segregation of field isolates of PBNV and WBNV into two distinct subclades, whereas isolates of CaCV and IYSV each clustered into a single clade. A proposal for establishing WBNV as a distinct tospovirus species is made based on the molecular characterization of small- (S) and medium- (M) RNA segments.
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