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Detection of Viruses in Sweetpotato from Honduras and Guatemala Augmented by Deep-Sequencing of Small-RNAs

October 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  10
Pages  1,430 - 1,437

M. Kashif, S. Pietilä, and K. Artola, Department of Agricultural Sciences, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland; R. A. C. Jones, School of Plant Biology and Institute of Agriculture, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, and Department of Agriculture, Locked Bag No. 4, Bentley Delivery Centre, Perth, WA 6983, Australia; A. K. Tugume, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, and Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; V. Mäkinen, Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki, Finland; and J. P. T. Valkonen, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki

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Accepted for publication 25 April 2012.

Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) plants become infected with over 30 RNA or DNA viruses in different parts of the world but little is known about viruses infecting sweetpotato crops in Central America, the center of sweetpotato domestication. Small-RNA deep-sequencing (SRDS) analysis was used to detect viruses in sweetpotato in Honduras and Guatemala, which detected Sweet potato feathery mottle virus strain RC and Sweet potato virus C (Potyvirus spp.), Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus strain WA (SPCSV-WA; Crinivirus sp.), Sweet potato leaf curl Georgia virus (Begomovirus sp.), and Sweet potato pakakuy virus strain B (synonym: Sweet potato badnavirus B). Results were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing of the amplicons. Four viruses were detected in a sweetpotato sample from the Galapagos Islands. Serological assays available to two of the five viruses gave results consistent with those obtained by SRDS, and were negative for six additional sweetpotato viruses tested. Plants coinfected with SPCSV-WA and one to two other viruses displayed severe foliar symptoms of epinasty and leaf malformation, purpling, vein banding, or chlorosis. The results suggest that SRDS is suitable for use as a universal, robust, and reliable method for detection of plant viruses, and especially useful for determining virus infections in crops infected with a wide range of unrelated viruses.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society