De La Torre
Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge 70803
In 1994, a sweet potato sample showing leaf curl symptoms was collected from the field in Louisiana. When graft-inoculated, Ipomoea nil cv. Scarlett O'Hara reacted with severe leaf distortion and chlorosis symptoms. I. aquatica reacted with a bright yellow mottle. The virus isolated was designated the United States isolate of sweet potato leaf curl virus (SPLCV-US). It was transmitted to I. nil by the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B. DNA probes prepared with component A of pepper Huasteco geminivirus, with an isolate of bean golden mosaic geminivirus from Guatemala, with an isolate of tomato mottle geminivirus from Florida, and with an isolate of tomato yellow leaf curl geminivirus from the Dominican Republic (TYLCV-DR) hybridized with a 2.6-kb DNA band present in DNA extracts from plants infected with SPLCV-US. Probes prepared with the B component of these geminiviruses did not hybridize with these DNA extracts. We were unable to amplify SPLCV-US DNA products by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in quantities that could be visualized by ethidium bromide staining. However, Southern blots from amplifications with primers AV494/AC1048 revealed PCR products of approximately 600 bp and 550 bp when hybridized with the TYLCV-DR probe. These results were consistently obtained from infected I. cordatotriloba and less consistently from I. aquatica or I. setosa. Fibrillar inclusions were occasionally seen, and granular aggregates of viruslike particles were observed in the nucleus of infected I. cordatotriloba. These results suggest that the virus isolated from sweet potato with leaf curl symptoms belongs to the geminivirus group.