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Biological and Genomic Properties of a Geminivirus Isolated from Pepper. D. C. Stenger, USDA-ARS, 1636 East Alisal St., Salinas, CA, 93905; J. E. Duffus(2), and B. Villalon(3). (2)USDA-ARS, 1636 East Alisal St., Salinas, CA, 93905; (3)Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Weslaco, TX, 78596. Phytopathology 80:704-709. Accepted for publication 18 January 1990. 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, 1990. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-80-704.

A geminivirus causing leaf curl and distortion symptoms was isolated from pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivated in Texas. The Texas pepper geminivirus (TPGV) was transmitted persistently by Bemisia tabaci and was also transmitted mechanically to species of the solanaceae. Electron microscopy of purified virions revealed typical geminate particles. Extracts from infected plants, but not uninfected plants, contained a putative replicative form (RF) DNA species of 2.6 kb that was double stranded, circular, and supercoiled. Viral RF DNA, linearized by digestion with the restriction enzymes EcoRI or HindIII, was cloned into Escherichia coli plasmid pUC 8. Analysis of cloned DNA by Southern hybridization and restriction endonuclease mapping indicates that two distinct species were cloned from RF DNA. One TPGV DNA hybridized with DNA A of tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV); however, neither TPGV DNA hybridized with TGMV DNA B. Infectivity assays using cloned TPGV DNAs demonstrated that both DNA species were required for systemic infection of test plants. These results indicate that TPGV is a typical whitefly-transmitted, bipartite genome geminivirus not previously known to occur in the United States.