S. Bag, Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164;
P. Rogers and
R. Watson, Nunhems USA, 8850 59th Ave NE, Brooks, OR 97305; and
H. R. Pappu, Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164
Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV; family Bunyaviridae, genus Tospovirus) is an important constraint to onion bulb and seed production in several onion-growing regions of the United States (1,3). While garlic (Allium sativum) was reported to be infected with IYSV in Réunion Island (4), there have been no confirmed reports of natural infection of garlic in the United States. Garlic plants showing near-diamond-shaped lesions were found in August of 2008 in Marion County, Oregon. The 0.4046-ha (1-acre) field plot consisted of various true-seeded garlic varieties and was adjacent to three onion fields that showed IYSV symptoms. Symptoms were observed on 5% of the garlic plants with most of the symptomatic plants displaying small and diffuse straw-colored spots. Seven of these symptomatic plants were selected for testing. Of these, two showed characteristic diamond-shaped, elongated, straw-colored lesions on garlic scapes. However, the lesions were more diffuse with less-defined edges compared with the characteristic diamond-shaped lesions that are often associated with IYSV infection (1). All symptomatic plants were positive for IYSV by double-antibody sandwich-ELISA with a commercially available kit (Agdia Inc., Elkhart, IN). To verify IYSV infection, total nucleic acid extracts from the symptomatic parts of the leaves were prepared and tested for the presence of IYSV by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR with primers 5′-TAAAACAAACATTCAAACAA-3′ and 5′-CTCTTAAACACATTTAACAAGCAC-3′, which flank the nucleocapsid (N) gene coded by the small RNA of IYSV (2). An approximate 1.1-kb amplicon was obtained from all symptomatic plants and cloned and sequenced. Nucleotide sequence comparisons using BLAST showed that a consensus of three clones derived from the amplicon from garlic (No. FJ514257) was 85 to 99% identical with IYSV sequences available in GenBank (Nos. AF001387, AB180918, and AB286063), confirming the identity of IYSV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of natural infection of IYSV infection of garlic in the United States. Additional surveys and testing are needed to obtain a better understanding of IYSV incidence in garlic to evaluate its impact on garlic production.
References: (1) D. Gent et al. Plant Dis. 90:1468, 2006. (2) H. R. Pappu et al. Arch. Virol. 151:1015, 2006. (3) H. R. Pappu et al. Virus Res. 141:219, 2009. (4) I. Robène-Soustrade et al. Plant Pathol. 55:288, 2006.