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Tomato curly stunt virus, a New Begomovirus of Tomato Within the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus-IS Cluster in South Africa

July 2000 , Volume 84 , Number  7
Pages  810.2 - 810.2

G. Pietersen , ARC-PPRI, Private Bag X134, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa ; A. M. Idris , Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85721 ; K. Krüger , ARC-PPRI, Private Bag X134, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa ; and J. K. Brown , Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85721

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Accepted for publication 1 May 2000.

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) causes a serious disease of tomato in many countries throughout the world. Preliminary reports suggested that TYLC disease was present in 1997 in South Africa. In 1998 140 ha of tomato fields in the Onderberg area were assessed for possible presence of TYLCV. Symptoms like those caused by TYLCV isolates in Israel were observed in most fields, and disease incidence ranged from <1 to 50%. Yield losses in individual plants ranged from negligible to 100% and appeared related to the age of the plants at time of infection. Two isolates of the suspect virus were experimentally transmitted from symptomatic tomato to virus-free, glasshouse-grown tomato seedlings by colony. Field and colony whiteflies were identified as the Bemisia tabaci based on mt COI sequence analysis (1). Attempts to transmit the suspect begomovirus by sap inoculation between tomato plants were unsuccessful. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with degenerate PCR primers (2) that permit detection of the coat protein gene (AV1) and the common region (CR) of other begomoviruses yielded an amplicon of the expected size (2,100 bp), suggesting begomovirus association with diseased tomato plants. Nucleotide (nt) sequence analysis of AV1 for both tomato isolate AF261885 indicated that they were indistinguishable and shared less than 78% sequence identity with other well-studied begomoviruses, indicating a distinct, previously undescribed begomovirus species. AV1 sequence comparisons also revealed that its closest relatives were members of the TYLCV cluster, which includes South African cassava mosaic virus (77.4%) (AF11785), East African cassava mosaic virus (77.3%) (AJ006459), and TYLCV-IS (76.2%) (X15656). The theoretical Rep binding element in the CR, TCGGT, was identical to TYLCV-IS and Cotton leaf curl virus-Pakistan (AJ002448) (AJ002449). Here, we provisionally designate this new tomato-infecting begomoviral species, Tomato curly stunt virus from South Africa (ToCSV-SA).

References: (1) D. R. Frohlich et al. Mol. Ecol. 8:1683, 1999. (2) A. M. Idris and J. K. Brown. Phytopathology 88:648, 1998.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society