Chilli veinal mottle virus (ChiVMV), a potyvirus, is widespread over the world. In China, it was first reported in chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) in Hainan Province (south China) in 2006 (2). Subsequently, it was reported in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) in Yunnan Province (southwest China) in 2011 (1). Sichuan Province is one of the largest vegetable producing areas of China. In May 2012, tomatoes with leaves displaying virus-infected symptoms like mottling, mosaic, narrowing, or curling were observed in several fields of Chengdu, eastern Sichuan Province, southwest China. Of the 20 fields we investigated, four fields with 90% tomato plants were infected. During 2012 and 2013, six samples were collected from symptomatic tomato leaves based on different symptoms and locations. All six samples were assayed by western blotting using polyclonal antisera (Cucumber mosaic virus [CMV], Tobacco mosaic virus [TMV]) obtained from Agdia (Elkhart) and one antiserum to ChiVMV obtained from Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Science (China). Two samples from Pengzhou and one sample from Shuangliu exhibiting mosaic leaves were positive for TMV, one sample from Pixian exhibiting narrowing leaves was positive for CMV, and the other two samples from Shuangliu exhibiting mottle and leaf distortion were positive for ChiVMV. Total RNAs was extracted from all six samples and healthy tomato leaves using Trizol reagent (Invitrogen), First-strand cDNA synthesis primed with oligo(dT) by SuperScript III Reverse Transcriptase (Invitrogen). RT-PCR was performed using primer pairs ChiVMV-CP F (5′-GCAGGAGAGAGTGTTGATGCTG-3′) and ChiVMV–CP R (5′-(T)16AACGCCAACTATTG-3′), which were designed to direct the amplification of the entire capsid protein (CP) gene and 3′ untranslated region (3′-UTR) of ChiVMV (GenBank Accession No. KC711055). The expected 1,166-bp DNA fragment was amplified from the two tomato samples from Shuangliu that were positive for ChiVMV in the western blot tests, but not from the others. The obtained fragments were purified and cloned into the PMD18-T vector (TaKaRa) and sequenced. The sequencing results showed that the two ChiVMV isolates from tomato in Shuangliu were identical (KF738253). Nucleotide BLAST analysis revealed that this ChiVMV isolate shared ~84 to 99% nucleotide identities with other ChiVMV isolates available in GenBank (KC711055 to KF220408). To fulfill Koch's postulates, we isolated this virus by three cycle single lesion isolation in N. tabacum, and mechanically inoculated it onto tomato leaves. The same mottle and leaf distortion symptoms in systemic leaves were observed. Subsequent RT-PCR, fragment clone, and sequence determination tests were repeated and the results were the same. All the evidence from these tests revealed that the two tomato plants were infected by ChiVMV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ChiVMV naturally infecting tomato in China. It shows that ChiVMV is spreading in China and is naturally infecting a new solanaceous crop in the southwest area, and the spread of the virus may affect tomato crop yields in China. Thus, it is very important to seek an effective way to control this virus.
References: (1) M. Ding et al. Plant Dis. 95:357, 2011. (2) J. Wang et al. Plant Dis. 90:377, 2006.
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