Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV; family Bunyaviridae, genus Tospovirus) is becoming an increasingly important constraint to the production of bulb and seed onions (Allium cepa L.) in many onion-growing regions of the continental United States and the world (4). During an evaluation of onion germplasm for susceptibility to IYSV, six other Allium species (A. altaicum, A. galanthum, A. roylei, A. schoenoprasum, A. tuberosum, and A. vavilovii) were also evaluated under natural field conditions. In July 2010, symptoms suggestive of IYSV infection (straw-colored necrotic lesions) were observed on leaves of these Allium spp. in experimental plots in Las Cruces, NM. IYSV was detected in symptomatic leaves of A. altaicum, A. vavilovii, A. tuberosum, A. schoenoprasum and A. roylei with a commercially available ELISA kit (Agdia Inc., Elkhart, IN). IYSV infection was confirmed by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR with forward and complementary primers 5′-CTCTTAAACACATTTAACAAGCAC-3′ and 5′-TAAAACAAACATTCAAACAA-3′ flanking the nucleocapsid (N) gene encoded by the small RNA of IYSV as previously described (1,3). Amplicons, approximately 1.1 kb long, were obtained from all symptomatic Allium spp. samples but not from healthy samples or water controls. Sequencing of selected amplicons confirmed IYSV infection. The highest nucleotide identity of 98% was shared with IYSV isolates from Japan (GenBank Accession No. AB180921). A. altaicum, A. vavilovii, and A. pskemense were previously reported from Washington to be susceptible to IYSV (2). Current findings expand the list of Allium spp. that are susceptible to IYSV and underscores the need for continued screening of other members of the genus to find sources of resistance to IYSV.
References: (1) H. R. Pappu et al. Arch. Virol. 151:1015, 2006. (2) H. R. Pappu et al. Plant Dis. 90:378, 2006. (3) H. R. Pappu et al. Plant Dis. 92:588, 2008. (4) H. R. Pappu et al. Virus Res. 141:219, 2009.
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