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Molecular and Biological Characterization of Distinct Strains of Jatropha mosaic virus from the Dominican Republic Reveal a Potential to Infect Crop Plants

January 2015 , Volume 105 , Number  1
Pages  141 - 153

Tomas A. Melgarejo, Tatsuya Kon, and Robert L. Gilbertson

First, second, and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis; first author: Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Lima, Peru; and second author: Plant Pathology Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Japan.

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Accepted for publication 21 July 2014.

In the Dominican Republic (DO), jatropha plants with yellow mosaic symptoms are commonly observed in and around fields of various crop plants. Complete nucleotide sequences of DNA-A and DNA-B components of four bipartite begomovirus isolates associated with symptomatic jatropha plants collected from three geographical locations in the DO were determined. Sequence comparisons revealed highest identities (91 to 92%) with the DNA-A component of an isolate of Jatropha mosaic virus (JMV) from Jamaica, indicating that the bipartite begomovirus isolates from the DO are strains of JMV. When introduced into jatropha seedlings by particle bombardment, the cloned components of the JMV strains from the DO induced stunting and yellow mosaic, indistinguishable from symptoms observed in the field, thereby fulfilling Koch's postulates for the disease. The JMV strains also induced disease symptoms in Nicotiana benthamiana, tobacco, and several cultivars of common bean from the Andean gene pool, including one locally grown in the DO. Asymmetry in the infectivity and symptomatology of pseudorecombinants provided further support for the strain designation of the JMV isolates from the DO. Thus, JMV in the DO is a complex of genetically distinct strains that have undergone local evolution and have the potential to cause disease in crop plants.

© 2015 The American Phytopathological Society