First and third authors: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721; and second and fourth authors: Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb 60115
Phylogenetic and distance analyses place Chino del tomate virus (CdTV) in the New World clade of begomoviruses and indicate that CdTV and Tomato leaf crumple virus (TLCrV) are closely related strains of the same virus. One cloned CdTV A component (pCdTV-H6), when inoculated to tomato with the B component (pCdTV-B52), produced mild symptoms and low DNA titers. Another cloned CdTV A component (pCdTV-H8), when coinoculated to tomato with the B component, produced moderate leaf curling and veinal chlorosis similar to that of TLCrV. Coinoculation of both CdTV A components and the B component to tomato produced wild-type chino del tomate (CdT) disease symptoms consisting of severe leaf curling, veinal and interveinal chlorosis, and stunting. The two CdTV A components were nearly identical, except at nucleotide positions 1,722 and 2,324. The polymorphism at nucleotide 1,722 resulted in a change at Rep amino acid 261. The second polymorphism at nucleotide 2,324 resulted in changes at Rep amino acid 60 and AC4 amino acid 10. Two chimeric A components constructed by reciprocal exchange of a fragment bearing the polymorphic site at nucleotide 1,722 were evaluated for symptom phenotype. One chimeric A component (pCdTV-H86) produced wild-type CdT symptoms when coinoculated to tomato with the B component. The reciprocal chimeric A component (pCdTV-H68), when coin-oculated to tomato with the B component, also produced severe leaf curling, veinal chlorosis, and stunting. However, pCdTV-H68 induced less obvious interveinal chlorosis than wild-type or pCdTV-H86. Examination of A component genotypes recovered from tomato coinoculated with pCdTV-H6 and pCdTV-H8 indicated that recombination occurred to produce a genotype identical to pCdTV-H86. These results indicate that subtle genotypic variation has significant effects on symptom expression and may explain phenotypic differences observed among isolates and cloned DNAs of CdTV and TLCrV.