CIRAD, UMR PVBMT CIRAD-Université de La Réunion, Pôle de Protection des Plantes, Ligne Paradis, 97410 Saint-Pierre, La Réunion, France
Laboratoire de la Protection des Végétaux, BP 103, 97600 Mamoudzou, Mayotte, France
CIRAD, UMR BGPI, TA 41/K, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
In June 2003, symptoms of stunting and leaf curling resembling symptoms of tomato leaf curl disease, as well as reductions in yields, were observed on tomato plants in the western (Combani and Kahani) and eastern (Dembeni, Kaoueni, and Tsararano) regions of Mayotte, a French island in the Comoros Archipelago located in the northern part of the Mozambique Channel. The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), was observed colonizing tomato plants and other vegetable crops at low levels. Overall, 13 leaf samples with symptoms were collected from tomato plants among the five regions and tested for the presence of begomoviruses using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay with two sets of degenerate primers designed to amplify two regions of the A component of begomoviruses. Primers MP16 and MP82 amplify an approximately 500-bp fragment located between the intergenic conserved nonanucleotide sequence and the first 200 bp of the coat protein (CP) gene (2). Primers AV494 and AC1048 amplify the approximately 550-bp core region of the CP gene (3). Six leaf samples, one from Combani, three from Dembeni, and two from Kahani, gave a PCR product of the expected size with both sets of primers. No PCR products were obtained with degenerate primers designed for begomovirus DNA B or β. The approximately 500- and 550-bp PCR products from one sample each of Combani (EMBL Accession Nos. AJ620912 and AJ620915, respectively), Dembeni (EMBL Accession Nos. AJ620911 and AJ620914, respectively), and Kahani (EMBL Accession Nos. AJ620913 and AJ620916, respectively) were sequenced. For the 489-bp sequences obtained with the MP16/MP82 primer set, the three isolates had 90 to 95% nucleotide identity (DNAMAN; Lynnon BioSoft, Quebec). The most significant sequence alignments (NCBI and BLAST) were with begomoviruses; 80 to 83% nucleotide identity was obtained with the Tomato yellow leaf curl Morondava virus (TYLCMV) isolates from Madagascar (EMBL Accession Nos. AJ422123 and AJ422124), 80 to 82% nucleotide identity was obtained with the South African cassava mosaic virus (SACMV) isolates (GenBank and EMBL Accession Nos. AF155806 and AJ422132), and 79 to 81% nucleotide identity was obtained with the East African cassava mosaic Malawi virus (EMBL Accession No. AJ006460). For the 522-bp sequences obtained with the AV494/AC1048 primer set, 95 to 97% nucleotide identity was shown between the three isolates. The most significant sequence alignments were also with begomoviruses; TYLCMV isolate Morondava (EMBL Accession No. AJ422125) with 86 to 88% nucleotide identity, Tomato yellow leaf curl virus isolates (GenBank and EMBL Accession Nos. AF105975, AJ489258, AB014346, AF024715, AF071228, and X76319) with 86 to 87% nucleotide identity, and SACMV isolate M12 (EMBL Accession No. AJ422132) with 85 to 86% nucleotide identity. According to the current taxonomic criteria for the provisional classification of a new begomovirus species, nucleotide sequence identity in the core region of the CP <90% (1), the tomato begomovirus from Mayotte is a new species and is provisionally named Tomato leaf curl Mayotte virus.
References: (1) J. K. Brown et al. Arch. Virol. 146:1581, 2001. (2) P. Umaharan et al. Phytopathology 88:1262, 1998. (3) S. D. Wyatt and J. K. Brown. Phytopathology 86:1288, 1996.