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Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus: Research perspective working with a world travelling virus

Tera Pitman: University of California

<div><em>Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus</em> (CGMMV) is a <em>Tobamovirus</em> that infects cucurbit crops and can cause devastating yield losses. CGMMV is primarily spread by contaminated seeds, then transmitted efficiently between plants by mechanical means. This allows geographical movement with the increased international seed trade, then rapid spread into naïve production areas. Originally described in England, global dissemination was slow until 2007, when detections in new regions increased rapidly. In California, the first detection of CGMMV was in 2013, after which annual detections occurred in either field settings or seed shipments. Our research into the genetic variability of CGMMV isolates detected in California indicates significant diversity and new introductions annually. Using Next Generation Sequencing, we have the full genomes of seven California introductions, two of which were identical. Additionally, we sequenced thirty-three isolates originating from Europe and southeast Asia. Incidentally, we identified a new cucurbit-infecting <em>Tobamovirus</em> to California in 2017, which was detected in material presumed to be infected with CGMMV. This virus shares 82% nucleotide identity with Cucumber mottle virus (CuMoV), which was first described in 2006 from Japan. With increasing movement of seeds across international borders, ongoing monitoring is necessary to prevent plant diseases from becoming established in new regions.</div>

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