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Virus diseases of vegetables in Mali, West Africa

Wubetu Bihon Legesse: World Vegetable Center

<div>Vegetables are important sources of diversified nutrients and income in Mali. However, diseases caused by geminiviruses and more specifically species under the genera begomovirus are among the major production constraints in Mali. Tomato leaf curl Mali virus (ToLCMLV), tomato yellow leaf curl virus (ToYLCrV), Okra leaf curl diseases (OLCD) and other members of Geminiviruses are major problems of tomato, hot pepper, okra and African Eggplant. Recent virus disease survey and diagnosis study using PCR amplification of Begomovirus universal primers and ELISA analysis identified several viruses in Mali. In Okra, 11 out of 12 samples tested, were positive to Geminiviruses while in hot peppers, 16 out of 29 samples tested were positive using PCR amplification. Moreover, ELISA test detected 3 PMV, 1 PMMV, 3 WSMOV and 5 PoTV viruses from 11 African eggplant samples tested. Field trials of seven okra varieties were also conducted to observe the tolerance of these varieties to natural virus infection. Well-known varieties such as <em>Batoumambe</em> and <em>Konni </em>were found to be more susceptible than other less popular varieties. In general, prevalence of virus diseases was much higher during the dry and cold seasons than in the rainy season. Consequently, high losses of tomato and hot pepper crops due to viruses are common features. The higher risk of virus diseases in vegetables and specifically on tomato and hot pepper calls for an urgent need to develop virus resistant varieties.</div>