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First Report of the Bemisia tabaci B Biotype in India and an Associated Tomato leaf curl virus Disease Epidemic

February 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  2
Pages  231.3 - 231.3

G. K. Banks , J. Colvin , R. V. Chowda Reddy , and M. N. Maruthi , Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K. ; V. Muniyappa , H. M. Venkatesh , M. Kiran Kumar , and A. S. Padmaja , Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore 560 065, India ; F. J. Beitia , Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnolgia Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Departamento de Proteccion Vegetal Unidad de Entomologia Carretera de La Coruna, Km 7.5 28040 Madrid ; and S. E. Seal , Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.

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Accepted for publication 21 November 2000.

In May 1999, in the Kolar district of Karnataka State, Bemisia tabaci numbers on tomato increased by approximately 1,000-fold that observed previously (3). This was associated with an epidemic of severe tomato leaf curl disease that caused complete crop failure. DNAs extracted from 35 symptomatic tomato leaf samples collected within the epidemic region all gave the expected 500 to 600 bp amplicon with begomovirus-specific primers A/B (1). These primers amplify from the conserved nonanucleotide TAATATTAC in the common region of DNA-A to the conserved amino acid sequence CEGPCKYG within the coat protein gene. AluI and TaqI restriction patterns of all 35 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products were identical. One PCR product from an epidemic (GenBank no. AF321929) and a non-epidemic (AF321930) site (Bangalore) were cloned and sequenced. The two 531-bp inserts showed 96% nucleotide identity to each other and 94% nucleotide identity to the equivalent region of Tomato leaf curl Bangalore virus (ToLCBV-Ban-4) (AF165098), suggesting that the epidemic was caused by an indigenous ToLCBV strain. Adult B. tabaci were collected from tomato plants at nine sites within the epidemic. DNA was extracted from 9 to 13 individuals per site and analyzed by RAPD-PCR using primers OpB20 and OpB11. Eighty to 100% of individuals per site had identical patterns to those of B biotype individuals from Israel and Florida, which were different to the patterns produced by the indigenous Indian B. tabaci. Adult B. tabaci from the epidemic and nonepidemic (Bangalore) regions were cultured separately on zucchini plants (n = 20) vars. Fordhook and Ambassador. Distinct silverleaf symptoms appeared in all plants fed on by the epidemic B. tabaci, but not on those fed on by the nonepidemic whiteflies. Irregular ripening of tomatoes was also a widespread problem in the epidemic area. Cytochrome oxidase I (COI) (720 bp) gene sequences were obtained for epidemic (AF321927) and nonepidemic (AF321928) B. tabaci, which had only 80% nucleotide identity to each other. A GenBank BLAST search showed that the former were most similar to B biotype whitefly from Israel (AF164667; 97%) and Texas (AF164675; 99%). The B biotype transmits Indian ToLCBV (2) and its introduction into India is of great concern as it is already associated with a devastating plant-disease epidemic.

References: (1) D. Deng et al. Ann. App. Biol. 125:327, 1994. (2) P. F. McGrath and B. D. Harrison. Ann. App. Biol. 126:307, 1995. (3) H. K. Ramappa et al. Ann. App. Biol. 133:187, 1998.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society