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Occurrence and Molecular Characterization of Three Pineapple Mealybug Wilt-Associated Viruses in Pineapple in Taiwan

February 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  2
Pages  196.3 - 197

B. N. Shen and Y. X. Zheng, Department of Plant Pathology, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan; W. H. Chen and T. Y. Chang, Department of Plant Protection, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 912, Taiwan; H.-M. Ku, Department of Agronomy, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan; and F.-J. Jan, Department of Plant Pathology, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan

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Accepted for publication 2 November 2008.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is one of the major fruit crops in Taiwan, accounting for 275 million U.S. dollars in 2006, following betel nut and citrus production in crop value. Tainung No. 17 is the most important cultivar, accounting for more than 70% of pineapples planted. Mealybug wilt of pineapple (MWP) is one of the most destructive diseases of pineapple. Pineapple mealybug wilt-associated virus-1 (PMWaV-1), PMWaV-2, and PMWaV-3 were identified as three distinct species in Ampelovirus from diseased Hawaiian pineapple (1,2). In November of 2007, pineapples (cv. Tainung No. 17) planted in Pingtung County of southern Taiwan showed symptoms similar to MWP. Mealybugs (Dysmicoccus brevipes) were also found. Three primer pairs, 225/226, 223/224, and 263/264 described previously specific for the HSP70h genes of PMWaV-1 (1), -2, and -3 (2), respectively, were used to detect the presence of these three viruses by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. Expected DNA fragments of 590, 610, and 499 nt were obtained from the total RNA isolated from the leaves of diseased pineapples with primer pairs 225/226, 223/224, and 263/264, respectively. The RT-PCR amplified fragments were cloned, sequenced, and analyzed. The 590-nt fragment (Accession No. EU769113) shared 91.6 to 99.5% nucleotide and 96.8 to 99.5% amino acid identity to those of five isolates of PMWaV-1 available in the GenBank; one each from Hawaii (Accession No. AF414119) and Thailand (Accession No. EF620774) and three from Australia (Accession Nos. EF488752, EF467923, and EF467925). The 610-nt fragment (Accession No. EU769115) showed 98.7 and 99.7% nucleotide and 98% and 100% amino acid identity to those of PMWaV-2 from Hawaii (Accession No. AF283103) and Thailand (Accession No. EU016675), respectively. The 499-nt fragment (Accession No. FJ209047) shared 86.8 to 99.0% nucleotide and 94.0 to 100.0% amino acid identity to those of five PMWaV-3 isolates available in the GenBank; one from Hawaii (Accession No. DQ399259) and four from Australia (Accession Nos. EF467918, EF467919, EF488754, and EF488755). Using primer pairs FJ08-1 (5′-ATGGCTGATTCGAGC)/FJ08-2 (5′-TTATTTGCGTCCACC), FJ08-7 (5′-AGTGAGATTGATCGT)/FJ08-8 (5′-TGCAGGTATCCGCTG), and FJ08-35 (5′-AACGACCGAACTCGC)/FJ08-36 (5′-ATACTACAGATATTG) specific to the coat protein (CP) genes of PMWaV-1, -2, and -3, respectively, expected DNA fragments of 774, 909, and 789 nt were amplified by RT-PCR. The 774-nt CP gene of PMWaV-1 (Accession No. EU769114) shared 99% nucleotide and 98.4% amino acid identity to those of Hawaiian isolate (Accession No. AF414119). The 909-nt CP gene of PMWaV-2 (Accession No. EU769116) shared 99.0 and 99.1% nucleotide identity with isolates from Hawaii (Accession No. AF283103) and Cuba (Accession No. DQ225114), respectively, and 99.3% amino acid identity with both. The 789-nt CP gene of PMWaV-3 (Accession No. FJ209048) shared 99.1% nucleotide and 98.1% amino acid identity to those of the Hawaiian isolate (Accession No. DQ399259). One to two viruses among PMWaV-1, -2, and -3 were detected in all 40 samples collected from diseased pineapples. To our knowledge, this is the first report to identify three PMWaVs in the most important and widely planted pineapple cultivar in Taiwan, Tainung No. 17, by molecular characterization of the HSP70h and CP genes.

References: (1) D. M. Sether et al. Plant Dis. 85:856, 2001. (2) D. M. Sether et al. Plant Dis. 89:450, 2005.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society