Allium tuberosum L., commonly known as garlic chives, is an important spice in northeastern India as well as in many other parts of the world. Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV; genus Tospovirus, family Bunyaviridae) is an important pathogen of onion (4) and other related Alliums such as garlic (3) and leek (2). During April 2013, symptoms potentially induced by IYSV such as chlorotic and straw-colored spindle-like lesions were observed on leaves of A. tuberosum accession Hanzong Winter (CGN 20779) plants in the wild species garden at the Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research (DOGR), Rajgurunagar, Pune, Maharashtra, India. Ten plant samples of A. tuberosum were randomly collected from the wild species garden and the upper, middle, and lower portions of the leaves were pooled and tested by double-antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA using a commercially available kit (Agdia Inc., Elkhart, IN) for IYSV. All of them showed positive results for IYSV incidence. Total RNA from the ELISA positive leaf samples of A. tuberosum was extracted using the RNeasy Plant Mini kit (Qiagen GmbH, Hilden, Germany). The primer pair IYSV-F (5′-TCAGAAATCGAGAAACTT-3′) and IYSV-R (5′-TAATTATATCTATCTTTCTTGG-3′) (1) was used for RT-PCR. The primer pair was specific to amplify 797 bp of the nucleocapsid (N) gene of IYSV. The amplified product derived from A. tuberosum isolate was purified by QIAquick PCR Purification Kit (Qiagen) and cloned using the vector pDrive (Qiagen). The recombinant clone was sequenced (Accession No. KF624624). Sequence analysis performed on CLC Main Workbench Version 6.8.4 confirmed that the fragment was of IYSV. Nucleotide sequence comparison of our virus with other IYSV isolates revealed that the highest nucleotide identity (99%) was with the IYSV garlic isolate (HM173691) from India. Further, maximum 96% protein identity was with IYSV onion isolate (ACA09432) and garlic isolate (ADK56108) from India. To our knowledge, this is the first report of IYSV naturally occurring on A. tuberosum in India. It is evident from previous studies that IYSV causes significant losses in onions (1) and from this study, that its symptoms have direct impact on quality of garlic chives. Further detailed studies are required to assess the magnitude of the impact of IYSV infection on yield and quality of A. tuberosum.
References: (1) A. Bulajic et al. Plant Dis. 93:976, 2009. (2) M. C. Córdoba-Sellés et al. Plant Dis. 91:1365, 2007. (3) S. J. Gawande et al. Plant Dis. 94:1066, 2010. (4) B. Mandal et al. Plant Dis. 96:468, 2012.