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Association of a DNA Virus with Grapevines Affected by Red Blotch Disease in California

October 2013 , Volume 103 , Number  10
Pages  1,069 - 1,076

Maher Al Rwahnih, Ashita Dave, Michael M. Anderson, Adib Rowhani, Jerry K. Uyemoto, and Mysore R. Sudarshana

First, second, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, third author: Department of Viticulture and Enology, and fifth and sixth authors: United States Department of Agriculture, University of California, One Shields Av., Davis 95616.

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Accepted for publication 15 April 2013.

In the Napa Valley of California, vineyards of ‘Cabernet Franc’ (CF) clone 214, ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ clone 337, and ‘Zinfandel’ clone 1A (Z1A) with grapevines exhibiting foliar symptoms of red blotches, marginal reddening, and red veins that were accompanied by reduced sugar accumulation in fruit at harvest were initially suspected to be infected with leafroll-associated viruses. However, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were negative for all known leafroll-associated viruses, with the exception of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 in Z1A. Metagenomic analysis of cDNA libraries obtained from double-stranded RNA enriched nucleic acid (NA) preparations from bark scrapings of dormant canes on an Illumina platform revealed sequences having a distant relationship with members of the family Geminiviridae. Sequencing of products obtained by PCR assays using overlapping primers and rolling circle amplification (RCA) confirmed the presence of a single circular genome of 3,206 nucleotides which was nearly identical to the genome of a recently reported Grapevine cabernet franc-associated virus found in declining grapevines in New York. We propose to call this virus “Grapevine red blotch-associated virus” (GRBaV) to describe its association with grapevine red blotch disease. Primers specific to GRBaV amplified a product of expected size (557 bp) from NA preparations obtained from petioles of several diseased source vines. Chip bud inoculations successfully transmitted GRBaV to test plants of CF, as confirmed by PCR analysis. This is the first report of a DNA virus associated with red blotch disease of grapevines in California.

Additional keywords: geminivirus, next-generation sequencing.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2013.