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Biological and Serological Characterization and Separation of Potyviruses that Infect Peppers. M. R. Nelson, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; R. E. Wheeler, Research Assistant II, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. Phytopathology 68:979-984. Accepted for publication 29 December 1977. Copyright © 1978 The American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121. All rights reserved.. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-68-979.

Potato virus Y (PVY), tobacco etch virus (TEV), an unidentified pepper virus from North Carolina (NC), and five isolates of pepper mottle virus (PeMV) from Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Florida were compared for host range, cross protection, and serology. The NC virus was related serologically to the PeMV strains. Otherwise, no close serological relationship existed between any of the viruses. The NC virus, however, did not share the most characteristic feature of the PeMV isolates: induction of necrotic local lesions on Capsicum frutescens ‘Tabasco’. Cross protection tests between NC and PeMV did not indicate a relationship. Strains of PeMV showed marked and consistent variation in the extent of secondary necrosis on tabasco, severity on Nicotiana tabacum ‘Xanthi’ and on several pepper breeding lines, including fruit distortion (or lack of it) on C. frutescens ‘Anaheim’, and susceptibility of Chenopodium amaranticolor. Host reactions were found adequate for differentiating between these viruses, unless certain mixtures occurred. In such mixtures, PVY could be detected only by serology.