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Potential Threat of a New Pathotype of Papaya leaf distortion mosaic virus Infecting Transgenic Papaya Resistant to Papaya ringspot virus

July 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  7
Pages  848 - 856

H.-J. Bau, Y.-J. Kung, J. A. J. Raja, S.-J. Chan, K.-C. Chen, Y.-K. Chen, H.-W. Wu, and S.-D. Yeh

First author: Department of Biotechnology, Transworld Institute of Technology, Yunlin, Taiwan, R.O.C.; and second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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Accepted for publication 20 March 2008.

A virus identified as a new pathotype of Papaya leaf distortion mosaic virus (PLDMV, P-TW-WF) was isolated from diseased papaya in an isolated test-field in central Taiwan, where transgenic papaya lines resistant to Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) were evaluated. The infected plants displayed severe mosaic, distortion and shoe-stringing on leaves; stunting in apex; and water-soaking on petioles and stems. This virus, which did not react in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with the antiserum to the PRSV coat protein, infected only papaya, but not the other 18 plant species tested. Virions studied under electron microscope exhibited morphology and dimensions of potyvirus particles. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction conducted using potyvirus-specific primers generated a 1,927-nucleotide product corresponding to the 3′ region of a potyvirus, showing high sequence identity to the CP gene and 3′ noncoding region of PLDMV. Search for similar isolates with the antiserum against CP of P-TW-WF revealed scattered occurrence of PLDMV in Taiwan. Phylogenetic analysis of PLDMV isolates of Taiwan and Japan indicated that the Taiwan isolates belong to a separate genetic cluster. Since all the Taiwan isolates infected only papaya, unlike the cucurbit-infecting Japanese P type isolates, the Taiwan isolates are considered a new pathotype of PLDMV. Susceptibility of all our PRSV-resistant transgenic papaya lines to PLDMV indicates that the virus is an emerging threat for the application of PRSV-resistant transgenic papaya in Taiwan and elsewhere.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society