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Seed transmission of begomoviruses in economic crops

Eui-Joon Kil: Sungkyunkwan University

<div>Begomoviruses, single-stranded DNA viruses, cause severe damages to global agricultural production of economic crops. It has long been accepted that begomoviruses could not be transmitted by infected seeds but only through the whitefly <em>Bemisia tabaci</em>, graft and artificial inoculation with infectious clones. However, in these days, begomoviruses such as <em>Tomato yellow leaf curl virus</em> (TYLCV), <em>Sweet potato leaf curl virus</em> and <em>Mung bean yellow mosaic virus</em> have been reported as seed-transmissible viruses in tomato, sweet potato and black gram, respectively. In 2015 and 2016, seeds of TYLCV-infected sweet pepper and white soybean and <em>Tomato yellow leaf curl Thailand virus</em> (TYLCTHV)-infected tomato were collected in Korea and Myanmar. PCR was performed with TYLCV and TYLCTHV specific primer sets (25-100%), and the amplicons were sequenced. According to the sequence analysis results using a BLAST search, the amplified DNA showed high identity to the previously reported sequences. To analyze virus dissemination, TYLCV and TYLCTHV-specific PCR was also performed with bunches of seedlings germinated from the seeds (five seedlings per pool), and some bunches of seedlings (20-100%) were confirmed to be TYLCV and TYLCTHV-infected. Virus replication in the seeds and seedlings was verified by the strand-specific amplification method. This is the first report of TYLCV seed transmission in non-tomato plants and the second identification of seed transmission of the TYLCV complex in tomato plants after an initial report of seed transmission of the TYLCV Korea isolate.</div>