Senior Plant Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Wu-Feng, Taichung 413, Taiwan, Republic of China
A virus inducing mild mosaic symptoms on the leaves and peduncles of tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) was isolated and partially characterized. The isolate, designated Tbr1, could be transmitted mechanically and by green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) in a non-persistent manner to tuberose seedlings but not to 16 common assay species. Flexuous rod-shaped particles with a mean length of 750 nm could be easily seen in infected leaf dips and in purified samples. Cytoplasmic cylindrical inclusions, pinwheel and laminated aggregates similar to those assigned to potyviral cylindrical inclusion type II, were observed in infected tuberose leaves. The purified capsid contained a single species of protein monomer with an estimated relative mass of 38 kDa. In reciprocal sodium dodecyl sulfate-immunodiffusion tests, antiserum against Tbr1 reacted only with its homologous antigen but not with 22 different known potyviruses. Using primer pairs designed for potyvirus sequence amplification, a 2-kb DNA product equivalent to the estimated size for potyviruses was consistently amplified from purified Tbr1 virions or from crude infected tissue by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. On the basis of these results, Tbr1 was recognized as a unique species in the genus Potyvirus and hence designated as tuberose mild mosaic potyvirus (TMMV).