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Curly Top Survey in the Western United States

November 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  11
Pages  1,212 - 1,217

C. A. Strausbaugh, W. M. Wintermantel, A. M. Gillen, and I. A. Eujayl

First and fourth authors: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) NWISRL, 3793 North 3600 East, Kimberly, ID 83341; second author: USDA-ARS, 1636 East Alisal St., Salinas, CA 93905; and third author: USDA-ARS CGPRU, 141 Experiment Station Rd., Stoneville, MS 38776.

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Accepted for publication 10 July 2008.

Curly top in sugar beet continues to be a challenging disease to control in the western United States. To aid in development of host resistance and management options, the curtovirus species composition was investigated by sampling 246 commercial fields along with nursery and field trials in the western United States. DNA was isolated from leaf samples and the species were identified using species-specific polymerase chain reaction primers for the C1 gene. Amplicons from 79 isolates were also sequenced to confirm identifications. Beet severe curly top virus (BSCTV) and Beet mild curly top virus (BMCTV) were widely distributed throughout the western United States, while only a few isolates of Beet curly top virus (BCTV) were found. In phylogenetic analysis, BSCTV, BMCTV, and BCTV isolates formed distinct groups in the dendrogram. Seven isolates not amplifiable with species-specific primers did amplify with curly top coat protein primers, indicating novel curtovirus species or strains may be present. Given the wide host range of the viruses responsible for curly top, frequent co-infections, and genetic diversity within and among species, establishing better host resistance, and controlling curly top will continue to be a challenge.

Additional keywordsbeet leafhopper, Beta vulgaris, Circulifer tenellus, geminivirus.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society