Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Ctra. de Beniel km 3.2, 03312 Orihuela, Alicante, Spain
Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, 30100 Espinardo, Murcia, Spain
In late spring 2003, field-grown melon plants (Cucumis melo L.) showing bright yellowing of older leaves were observed near Valladolises in Campo de Cartagena, Murcia, Spain. Symptoms resembled those caused by viruses of the genus Crinivirus (family Closteroviridae), but absence or very low populations of whiteflies were observed. However, diseased foci showed clear indications of heavy aphid infestations. Later, during the fall of 2003, squash plants (Cucurbita pepo L.) grown in open fields in the same area showed similar symptoms. Tissue print hybridizations to detect Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) and Beet pseudo yellows virus (BPYV) in symptomatic samples were negative. CYSDV and BPYV are two yellowing-inducing criniviruses previously described in Spain. In contrast, standard double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (DAS-ELISA) with antiserum against Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus (CABYV; genus Polerovirus, family Luteoviridae) that was kindly provided by H. Lecoq (INRA-Montfavet Cedex, France) were consistently positive. Definitive confirmation of CABYV associated with symptomatic samples was obtained by performing reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses for the CABYV coat protein gene. Total RNA extracts (TRI reagent; Sigma Chemical, St. Louis, MO) were obtained from symptomatic and asymptomatic leaf samples and RT-PCR reactions were carried out using the primers 5′-GAATACGGTCGCGGCTAGAAATC-3′ (CE9) and 5′-CTATTTCGGGTTCTGGACCTGGC-3′ (CE10) based on the CABYV sequence published by Guilley et al. (2). A single DNA product of approximately 600 bp was obtained only from symptomatic samples. Amplified DNA fragments from two independent samples (samples 36-2 and 37-5) were cloned in E. coli and sequenced (GenBank Accession Nos. AY529653 and AY529654). Sequence comparisons showed a 95% nucleotide sequence identity between the two sequences. A 97% and 94% nucleotide sequence identity was found among 36-2 and 37-5, respectively and the CABYV sequence published by Guilley et al. (2). CABYV seems to be widespread throughout the Mediterranean Basin (1,3) but to our knowledge, it has not previously been described in Spain. Additionally, our data suggest that significant genetic variability might be present in the Spanish CABYV populations.
References: (1) Y. Abou-Jawdah et al. Crop Prot. 19:217, 2000. (2) H. Guilley et al. Virology 202:1012, 1994. (3) H. Lecoq et al. Plant Pathol. 41:749, 1992.