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Characterization of a Potyvirus Causing a Leaf Distortion Disease of Tradescantia and Zebrina Species. B. E. Lockhart, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108; Jean Ann Betzold(2), and F. L. Pfleger(3). (2)(3)Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108. Phytopathology 71:602-604. Accepted for publication 10 November 1980. Copyright 1981 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-71-602.

Ornamental Tradescantia and Zebrina spp. in commercial greenhouses in Minnesota frequently were found to be infected with a filamentous virus causing mosaic, leaf distortion, and stunting. The virus was transmissible both mechanically and by two aphids, Myzus persicae and Rhopalosiphum padi. The experimental host range of the virus was restricted to three genera of the Commelinaceae: Tradescantia, Zebrina, and Rhoeo. Virus particles isolated in leaf-dip preparations had an average length of 754 nm. Pinwheel and tubular inclusions were observed in ultrathin sections of infected leaf tissue. A purification method for the virus is described. The virus did not react with antisera to any of 13 other potyviruses, and differed from Commelina mosaic virus (CoMV) in not infecting Commelina diffusa and in producing distinctly different pinwheel inclusions. In crude extracts from infected leaves, CoMV did not react with an antiserum to the Tradescantia virus. The virus appears to be a new member of the potyvirus group.