Department Vegetal Production, Plant Pathology, Universidad Politécnica, Cno. Vera, 14, Valencia, Spain
Department Vegetal Production, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Orihuela, Alicante, Spain
Centro Investigación Desarrollo Agrario, Murcia, Spain
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a major constraint to tomato production in Spain. This virus was observed for the first time in several tomato fields in Murcia (Spain) in the autumn of 1992 and Canary Islands in 1999. Currently the virus is prevalent along the Mediterranean coast of Spain (provinces of Málaga, Granada, Almería, Murcia, Alicante, Valencia, and Barcelona) and in the Canary Islands. Two viral species have been identified in Spain, TYLCV-Sar in 1992 and TYLCV-Is in 1997. TYLCV-Is is more severe than TYLCV-Sar and produces the greatest economic losses. Curling of leaflets, yellowing, and growth reduction are more pronounced in plants infected with TYLCV-Is than in those infected with TYLCV-Sar. In order to study the presence and behavior of both viral species in the affected area, over 1,320 tomato plants were sampled. DNA was extracted from the samples and analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. The degenerate primer pair for Begomovirus detection (AV494/AC1048) (2) was used to amplify the core region of the capsid protein gene. The amplified fragments were later analysed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) with HaeIII enzyme to differentiate between TYLCV-Is and TYLCV-Sar species. The results showed that TYLCV-Sar (43.4%) and TYLCV-Is (56.6%) coexist in tomato crops and, in contrast with previous results (1), displacement of TYLCV-Sar for TYLCV-Is was observed. A search for the alternative hosts that may serve as virus reservoirs in areas where the virus is prevalent involved testing 210 samples of 95 species of weeds by PCR, with the same primers. The following species were found to be infected: Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker, Convolvulus sp., Cuscuta sp., Chenopodium murale L., Datura stramonium L., Dittrichia viscosa (L.) W. Greuter, Malva parviflora L., and Solanum nigrum L. This is the first reference of C. sumatrensis, Convolvulus sp., Cuscuta sp., and Ch. murale as natural hosts of TYLCV. These plants were symptomless.
References: (1) S. Sanchez-Campos et al. Phytopathology 89:1038, 1999. (2) S. D. Wyatt et al. Phytopathology 86:1288, 1996.