W.-L. Rao, Kunming B&T Agricultural School, Kunming 650034, China;
Z.-K. Zhang, Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Institute, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming 650223, China; and
R. Li, USDA-ARS, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705
Plants in the genus Prunus of the family Rosaceae are important fruit and ornamental trees in China. In June of 2007, sweet cherry (Prunus avium) trees with mottling and mosaic symptoms were observed in a private garden near Kunming, Yunnan Province. Twenty-four samples, six each from sweet cherry, sour cherry (P. cerasus), flowering cherry (P. serrulata), and peach (P. persica) were collected from trees in private and community gardens in the area. The peach and sour and flowering cherry trees did not show any symptoms. Total nucleic acids were extracted using a cetyltrimethylammoniumbromide (CTAB) extraction method, and the extracts were tested for the following eight viruses by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR: American plum line pattern virus, Apple chlorotic leaf spot virus, Cherry green ring mottle virus, Cherry necrotic rusty mottle virus, Cherry virus A (CVA), Little cherry virus 1, Prune dwarf virus, and Prunus necrotic ringspot virus. Only CVA was detected in two symptomatic sweet cherry trees by RT-PCR with forward (5′-GTGGCATTCAACTAGCACCTAT-3′) and reverse (5′-TCAGCTGCCTCAGCTTGGC-3′) primers specific to an 873-bp fragment of the CVA replicase gene (2). The CVA infection of the two trees was confirmed by RT-PCR using primers CVA-7097U and CVA-7383L that amplified a 287-bp fragment from the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of the virus (1). Amplicons from both amplifications were cloned and sequenced. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequences of the 873-bp fragments (GenBank Accession Nos. EU862278 and EU862279) showed that they were 98% identical with each other and 97 to 98% with the type isolate of CVA from Germany (GenBank Accession No. NC_003689). The 286-bp sequences of the 3′-UTR (GenBank Accession Nos. FJ608982 and FJ608983) were 93% identical with each other and 93 to 98% with the type isolate. The sequence indicated that the three isolates were very similar and should be considered to be the same strain. CVA is a member of the genus Capillovirus in the family Flexiviridae and has been previously reported in Europe, North America, and Japan. The contribution of CVA to the symptoms observed and its distribution in China remain to be evaluated. To our knowledge, this is the first report of CVA in sweet cherry in China.
References: (1) M. Isogai et al. J. Gen. Plant Pathol. 70:288. (2) W. Jelkmann. J. Gen. Virol. 76:2015, 1995.