In the summer of 2008, potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers (cvs. FL1867, FL2053, and FL1922) from commercial fields near Dalhart, TX were observed with distinct external erumpent rings and severe internal discolorations including blotches, spots, and dry, cork-like tissue. The presence of rings suggested the possible involvement of one or more viruses. Nucleic acid from seven of eight symptomatic tubers received in Washington (cvs. FL1867 and FL1922) tested positive for Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR with primers TSWV 1 and 2 (3). Similarly, tubers (cvs. FL1867 and FL2053) received in North Dakota tested positive for TSWV with forward (S1983) and reverse (S2767) primers of Tsompana et al. (4). The 777-bp amplicon obtained with primers TSWV 1 and 2 and the 803-bp amplicon obtained with primers S1983 and S2767 were cloned and three clones of each were sequenced. Analysis of the consensus sequences and BLAST comparisons confirmed the Washington and North Dakota sequences were indeed TSWV in origin and were each 98 to 99% identical to the corresponding nucleocapsid region of a number of TSWV isolates and most closely related to an isolate detected in eastern black nightshade from Colorado (GenBank No. AY777475). The deduced amino acid sequences of the 777-bp nucleocapsid open reading frame differed from AY777475 at only two residues in each of the Washington and North Dakota sequences. The Washington and North Dakota derived sequences were deposited with GenBank (Nos. FJ882069 and FJ882070, respectively). None of the eight symptomatic tubers tested positive for Tobacco rattle virus (TRV), Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), or the necrotic strains of Potato virus Y (PVY) by RT-PCR. Mechanical transmission tests were conducted by grinding symptomatic tissue of a TSWV-positive FL1867 tuber in 10 volumes of 30 mM potassium phosphate buffer, pH 8.0, containing 10 mM of sodium diethyldithiocarbamate and 10 mM of sodium thioglycollate and rub inoculated onto Carborundum-dusted leaves of Samsun NN tobacco. Approximately 10 days after inoculation, chlorotic-necrotic rings were present on the inoculated leaves and circular necrotic lesions developed on the upper leaves. Dark stem lesions were also present on inoculated tobacco, and after 3 weeks, the upper leaves developed severe, spreading lesions. Tissue from the symptomatic tobacco tested positive for TSWV by RT-PCR (primers TSWV 1 and 2) and also with a TSWV-specific ImmunoStrip (Agdia, Inc., Elkhart, IN), but tested negative for TRV, AMV, and PVY by RT-PCR. TSWV has been reported on field-grown potatoes in North Carolina (1) and has been reported on potatoes in Australia (2) and in other parts of the world (referenced in 1). To our knowledge, this is the first report associating TSWV with tuber necrosis on potatoes in Texas.
References: (1) J. A. Abad et al. Am. J. Potato Res. 82:255, 2005. (2) L. J. Latham and R. A. C. Jones. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 48:359, 1997. (3) R. Navarre et al. Am. J. Potato Res. 86:88, 2009. (4) M. Tsompana et al. Mol. Ecol. 14:53, 2005.