Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an important bulbous spice crop in India as well as other parts of world. Garlic is well known for its medicinal properties. Degeneration due to viral infections is one of the important constraints in exploiting its yield potential. Leek yellow stripe virus (LYSV), genus Potyvirus, family Potyviridae, is a prominent virus known to infect garlic worldwide (4). During July 2013, potyvirus-like symptoms such as mosaic, streaking, stunting, mottling of leaves were observed on garlic cv. G-41 and landrace Ranibennur local, collected from Karnataka, India, and maintained at the Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune, India. The incidence of symptomatic plants was estimated at 70% for Ranibennur local and 68% for cv. G-41. The symptomatic leaves were sampled diagonally from the field. Twenty symptomatic plants per cultivar with each sample was composited from young, middle, and lower (basal) leaves of the plant. These samples were tested by double-antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA for LYSV using commercially available kit (Agdia Inc., Elkhart, IN). ELISA-positive plants were further subjected to molecular studies. Total RNA from the infected leaf samples were extracted by RNeasy Plant Mini kit (Qiagen GmbH, Hilden, Germany) and assayed by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR using primer pair LYSV-F 2 (5′-GCACCATACAGTGAATTGAG-3′) (1), LYSV-R (5′-GCCTCGCGCGCTCTAA-3′) (3) to amplify 874 bases of partial Nib and partial coat protein gene. The amplified product of 874 bp derived from A. sativum isolate was purified (QIAquick PCR Purification Kit, Qiagen) and cloned using vector pDrive (Qiagen). The recombinant clones were sequenced and submitted in NCBI database (GenBank Accession No. KF850539). The sequence analysis performed on CLC Main Workbench Version 6.8.4 gave confirmation of LYSV. Further, phylogenetic analysis of the 874-nt sequence revealed the highest nucleotide identity (80 to 82%) with LYSV isolates (DQ925453, JN127339, AB005611, and JX429965). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of natural infection of garlic by LYSV in western India. LYSV is known to cause direct losses in garlic and other related Allium spp. Up to 54% reduction in bulb weight was observed due to single infection of this virus (2). Hence, our first report about this virus has significant impact on garlic production scenario, if this virus found to be widespread in the country. For this, additional surveys and genotype screenings are needed to obtain a better understanding of the potential impact of LYSV on garlic production in India.
References: (1) H. Fidan and S. Baloglu. Plant Dis. 93:672, 2009. (2) H. Lot et al. Plant Dis. 82:1381, 1998. (3) P. Lunello et al. J. Virol. Methods. 118:15, 2004. (4) H. R. Pappu et al. Plant Dis. 89:205, 2005.
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