Hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivated in India has been identified as a host of geminiviruses causing leaf curl disease such as Chilli leaf curl virus and Pepper leaf curl virus, leading to serious crop losses (3). In June 2013, hot pepper plants growing in Bangalore showed stunting and upward leaf curling. Viral DNA was extracted from a hot pepper with a Viral Gene-spin Viral DNA/RNA Extraction Kit (iNtRON Biotechnology, Seongnam, Korea) and amplified by rolling circle amplification using the illustra TempliPhi 100 Amplification Kit (GE Healthcare, Uppsala, Sweden) (2). Amplified products were digested by restriction enzyme KpnI (Takara Bio, Shiga, Japan), cloned, and sequenced (Macrogen, Seoul, Korea). Based on a BLAST search, a 2.6-kb DNA obtained from one plant sample was identified as Chickpea chlorotic dwarf virus (CpCDV), belonging to the genus Mastrevirus (family Geminiviridae) (GenBank Accession No. KF632712). The CpCDV-Bangalore isolate is 2,585 bases in length and exhibits 85.9 to 98.5% identity to previously reported CpCDV isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first report of CpCDV infecting hot pepper in India. CpCDV was recently reported from pepper plants in Oman (KF111683) (1), but it shared the lowest sequence identity (85.9%) with CpCDV-Bangalore isolate.
References: (1) S. Akhtar et al. Plant Dis. 98:286, 2014. (2) E.-J. Kil et al. Arch. Virol. 159:2387. (3) D. M. J. B. Senanayake et al. Plant Pathol. 56:343, 2007.