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First Report of Avocado sunblotch viroid in Avocado from Michoacán, México

February 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  2
Pages  202.2 - 202.2

R. De La Torre-A, FES-Iztacala, UNAM, México; D. Téliz-Ortiz, Colegio de Postgraduados, Instituto de Fitosanidad, Texcoco, México; and V. Pallás and J. A. Sánchez-Navarro, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, IBMCP (CSIC-UPV), Valencia, Spain

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Accepted for publication 3 November 2008.

The State of Michoacán, México cultivates approximately 100,000 ha of avocados (Persea americana M.) (4). During a survey from 2006 to 2007 in cv. Hass avocado groves in Tingambato County, in the State of Michoacán, deep yellow spots and streaks, which sometimes became necrotic or reddish, were observed on the skin of fruits and the pulp of the fruit also showed big yellow spots. Some young shoots developed fine, yellow streaks, and leaves of symptomatic trees sometimes showed irregular, white-to-yellow spots. These symptoms were similar to those recorded for Avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd) (3). To determine if ABSVd was associated with these symptoms, total RNA extracted (1) from the skin and pulp of symptomatic and asymptomatic fruits and also from leaves and bark of shoots from five trees collected in a commercial plot in Tingambato County was tested by a one-step reverse transcription (RT)-PCR protocol using one primer pair to amplify specifically the complete ASBVd genome sequence (3). All 30 samples of skin and pulp of fruits, leaves, and cortex of shoots from symptomatic trees yielded two PCR fragments with estimated sizes of 250 and 500 base pairs (bp) corresponding to the putative monomeric and dimeric forms of ASBVd, respectively. The 500-bp RT-PCR fragments obtained from the different samples were purified from an agarose gel and cloned. The 249-bp nucleotide sequence of the ASBVd genomic monomer was determined using the clones from the fruit skin from sample Arb No. 3 (GenBank Accession No. EU888588), pulp from sample Arb No. 5 (GenBank Accession No. EU888590), leaves from samples Arb No. 15 (GenBank Accession No. EU888589) and Arb No. 8 (GenBank Accession Nos. EU888591 and EU888592), and cortex of shoots from sample Arb No. 16 (GenBank Accession Nos. EU888593, EU888594, EU888595, EU888596, and EU888597). BLAST analysis of the ASBVd sequences showed a range of 98 to 100% nucleotide identity to ASBVd sequences (GenBank Accession Nos. AF404064, AF404051, or AF229821). A clone of the Michoacán ASBVd (GenBank Accession No. EU888593) was used to synthesize a Dig-High Prime-UTP-T7 (Roche, Mannheim, Germany) fluorescent riboprobe complementary to the ASBVd plus strand to perform a dot-blot analysis as described previously (2). All ASBVd samples positive by RT-PCR gave a strong signal in the dot-blot analysis. This riboprobe will be used to index the ASBVd in other commercial avocado groves in Michoacán. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ASBVd in Michoacán, México.

References: (1) D. J. Mackenzie et al. Plant Dis. 81:222, 1997. (2) J. A. Sánchez-Navarro et al. Plant Pathol. 47:780, 1998. (3) R. J. Schnell et al. Plant Dis. 81:1023, 1997. (4) D. Téliz and A. Mora. El aguacate y su Manejo Integrado. Mundiprensa, Mexico City, 2007.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society