Virology Laboratory, ICARDA, P.O. Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria
Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology and Biosafety, Messeweg 11-12, D-38104 Braunschweig, Germany
During May 2003, a high incidence of symptoms suggestive of virus infection in spring chickpea were observed in many fields in Al-Ghab Valley, Syria, the ICARDA farm (near Aleppo, Syria), as well as in other locations in northern Syria, including the Idleb governorate. Symptoms observed were yellowing, stunting, and necrosis. A total of 1,345 chickpea samples with these symptoms (331 from Al-Ghab Valley, 269 from the ICARDA farm, and 745 from the Idleb governorate) were collected and tested for the presence of five viruses with tissue-blot immunoassay (TBIA) (4) at the Virology Laboratory of ICARDA, using the following antisera: monoclonal antibodies for Faba bean necrotic yellows virus (FBNYV, genus Nanovirus) (1); Bean leafroll virus (BLRV, family Luteoviridae) (4B10) (3); Beet western yellows virus (BWYV, genus Polerovirus, family Luteoviridae [ATCC PVAS-647, American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, VA]); and Soybean dwarf virus (SbDV, family Luteoviridae, [ATCC PVAS-650]) and polyclonal antibodies for Chickpea chlorotic dwarf virus (CpCDV, genus Mastrevirus, family Geminiviridae, provided by H. J. Vetten, BBA, Braunschweig, Germany). The most common virus present was BWYV (detected in 54.1% of samples tested), followed by CpCDV (19.2%), BLRV (10.2%), and FBNYV (5.5%). SbDV was not detected in any of the samples tested. Using immunosorbent electron microscopy, infected chickpea samples revealed low numbers of geminivirus-like particles after 15 min of incubation on CpCDV antiserum-coated grids. When CpCDV was purified from infected chickpea plants, the virus coat protein was 32 kDa with sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis typical of CpCDV coat protein (2) and reacted strongly with CpCDV antiserum in western blots. The CpCDV vector in Syria was found to be Orosius albicinctus Distant, and is thought to be similar to Orosius orientalis (Matsumura), the reported vector of CpCDV (2). FBNYV, BWYV, and BLRV infection of chickpea have been previously reported from Syria, but to our knowledge, this is the first report of CpCDV infecting chickpea in Syria.
References: (1) A. Franz et al. Ann. Appl. Biol. 128:255, 1996. (2) N. M. Horn et al. Ann. Appl. Biol. 122:467, 1993. (3) L. Katul. Characterization by serology and molecular biology of bean leaf roll virus and faba bean necrotic yellows virus. Ph.D. thesis. University of Gottingen, Germany, 1992. (4) K. M. Makkouk and A. Comeau. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 100:71, 1994.