K. Hamed and
W. Menzel, Leibniz Institute DSMZ, Plant Virus Department, Inhoffenstrasse 7B, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany;
M. E. Mohamed and
K. A. Bakheet, Agricultural Research Corporation, Shambat Research Station P.O. Box 30, Khartoum North, Sudan; and
S. Winter, Leibniz Institute DSMZ, Plant Virus Department, Inhoffenstrasse 7B, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is one of the most important vegetable field crops in Sudan, cultivated on an area of more than 6,000 ha with a total yield of 27,000 t in 2010 (faostat.fao.org). As part of a project which started in 2010 to improve the garlic production in Sudan, samples from local varieties showing severe mosaic and/or mottling were collected in winter 2011 from the main production areas in River Nile State, Northern State, and Darfur State. The plant material used for garlic production came from Sudan and was not imported. Because no reliable data were available on which viruses occur in garlic in Sudan, specific tests were initially omitted. In order to get an overview of the viruses present, dsRNA was prepared of a mixed leaf sample (12 leaves of different samples). This resulted in a high molecular weight dsRNA of approximately 9 kbp that served as template for a random RT-PCR followed by cloning and sequencing (3). Three identical clones originating from one PCR product covering the C-terminal part of the coat protein to the N-terminal part of the nucleic acid binding protein showed the highest sequence similarity to Garlic common latent virus (GarCLV). The nucleotide sequence identities of the 554-bp insert range from 85% to an isolate from India (Accession No. FJ154841) up to 97% to a GarCLV isolate from The Netherlands (AB004804), identifying the virus as a Sudanese isolate of GarCLV, one of the most common garlic infecting viruses. GarCLV belongs to the genus Carlavirus (1) and has previously been reported from Asia, Europe, and South America (http://sdb.im.ac.cn/vide/descr352.htm). In order to confirm these results, a double antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA was performed with six individual garlic samples in which five samples showed a clear reaction with a GarCLV specific antiserum (AS-0230, DSMZ, Germany). The occurrence of GarCLV could be further confirmed for the ELISA positive samples by a specific RT-PCR using the primers published by Majumder and Baranwal (2). Fragments of the expected size were obtained for all five samples. In addition, one of the positive samples was examined by electron microscopy (Dr. K. Richert-Pöggeler, JKI Braunschweig); filamentous flexous particles typical for carlaviruses could be observed. The random RT-PCR sequence obtained in this study has been submitted to GenBank (KC013030). To our knowledge, this is the first report of GarCLV in garlic in Sudan and Africa. The impact of GarCLV on garlic production in Sudan needs to be evaluated, but the awareness of the occurrence of the virus and the availability of a reliable diagnostic tool will help to select virus-free propagation material. This will form the basis for a sustainable garlic production.
References: (1) A. M. Q. King et al. Virus Taxonomy 924, 2012. (2) S. Majumder and V. K. Baranwal. Plant Dis. 93:106, 2009. (3) W. Menzel et al. Arch. Virol. 154:1343, 2009.