Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV), a thrips-transmitted, tentative species in the genus Tospovirus, family Bunyaviridae, was first identified in solanaceous crops, but also infects several ornamental crops such as orchid (4), gloxinia (3), and calla lily (1). From 2005 to 2007, virus-like yellow ringspots were observed on the leaves of amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybridum Hort.) and blood lily (Haemanthus multiflorus Martyn.) plants cultured in screenhouses and a private garden, respectively. Three of several hundred amaryllis plants in screenhouses from two places were observed as showing yellow ringspot symptoms and one of six blood lily plants was observed as showing similar yellow ringspot symptoms. Sap extracts from symptomatic leaves were inoculated to Chenopodium quinoa Willd. and the resulting local lesions were passaged three successive times to C. quinoa for virus isolation. Using the tospovirus genus-specific primers gL3637 and gL4435c designed from the conserved region in the L RNA (2), DNA fragments of the expected size of 800 bp were amplified by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR from field samples and local lesions from C. quinoa. Extracts from the diseased plants and local lesions of C. quinoa reacted strongly with antiserum against the nucleocapsid (N) protein of CaCV in ELISA and western blotting. To confirm the identity of this virus, we amplified the N gene from three amaryllis and one blood lily source using primer pair WN2328 and WN3534 designed from the S RNA of Watermelon silver mottle virus (1), and these products were cloned and sequenced. The sequence from each virus isolate was determined from three independent clones. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of N genes for the blood lily isolate (GenBank Accession No. EF101344) and three amaryllis isolates (GenBank Accession Nos. EF101343, EF137177, and FJ185170) had identities greater than 97% with that of a CaCV isolate infecting Capsicum spp. found in Australia (GenBank Accession No. AY036057). Phylogenetic analysis using maximum parsimony showed that these sequences clustered with CaCV. These results show that the virus identified from amaryllis and blood lily that were expressing yellow ringspot symptoms are isolates of CaCV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of CaCV naturally infecting amaryllis and blood lily and it could become an important threat to ornamental production in Taiwan.
References: (1) C. C. Chen et al. Plant Dis. 91:1201, 2007. (2) F. H. Chu et al. Phytopathology 91:361, 2001. (3) H. T. Hsu et al. J. Gen. Plant Pathol. 66:167, 2000. (4) Y. X. Zheng et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 120:199, 2008.