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High Genetic Stability of the Begomovirus Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus in Southern Spain Over an 8-Year Period

August 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  8
Pages  842 - 849

S. Sánchez-Campos , J. A. Díaz , F. Monci , E. R. Bejarano , J. Reina , J. Navas-Castillo , M. A. Aranda , and E. Moriones

First, second, third, sixth, seventh, and eighth authors: Estación Experimental “La Mayora,” Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 29750 Algarrobo-Costa, Málaga, Spain; and fourth and fifth authors: Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Spain

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Accepted for publication 29 March 2002.

The evolution of the plant single-stranded DNA virus Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) (genus Begomovirus, family Geminiviridae) has been monitored for 8 years after its appearance in southern Spain. Variation within three genomic regions of 166 TYLCSV isolates collected from three locations was assessed by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. According to SSCP, the intergenic region (IR) was the most variable. Low genetic diversity was found within the population and geographical or temporal differences were not evident. Nucleotide sequences of specific genomic regions of haplotypes identified by SSCP indicated close relationships among them. Therefore, the Spanish TYLCSV population appears to represent a single, undifferentiated population. The analysis of IR sequences for a subsample of 76 randomly chosen isolates confirmed the limited genetic diversity revealed by the SSCP analysis. A tendency to a lineal increase in diversity over time was observed in Málaga and Almería subpopulations; however, no accumulation of mutations in single isolates was evident. Negative selection to variation seems to operate to conserve certain regions of the genome. Thus, the low genetic diversity found in the studied TYLCSV population might be the result of a founder effect with subsequent selection against less fit variants arising by mutation.

Additional keywords: Lycopersicon esculentum, tomato, viral disease.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society