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First Report of Cowpea mild mottle virus in Cowpea and French Bean in Taiwan

July 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  7
Pages  1,001.2 - 1,001.2

C. A. Chang, L. Y. Chien, C. F. Tsai, and Y. Y. Lin, Graduate Institute of Biochemical Science and Technology, Chaoyang University of Technology, Wufeng, Taichung, Taiwan; and Y. H. Cheng, Plant Pathology Division, Agricultural Research Institute, Wufeng, Taichung, Taiwan

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Accepted for publication 8 January 2013.

In 2009, more than 50% of vine type French beans were found bearing severe viral symptoms in a vegetable garden in Nantou County, Taiwan. Infected plants were stunted and exhibited pronounced mottling symptoms on their leaves. The symptomatic plants were mechanically inoculated on Chenopodium quinoa and local lesions developed 7 to 10 days after inoculation. The virus source established by back isolation the single lesion from C. quinoa on French beans developed symptoms similar to those found in the field. Host range test showed that this isolate could only infect leguminous plants, including soybean, mung bean, pea, peanut, asparagus bean, cowpea, adzuki bean, and lima bean, but not cucurbitaceous and solanaceous plants. Since only Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) has been reported in Taiwan to induce similar symptoms in French beans, we tested both the field collected and inoculated French beans by CMV antiserum in ELISA but obtained a negative result. Due to subsequent electron microscopy studies that found potyvirus and carlavirus like particles in the leaf dips of infected French beans, we conducted reverse transcription (RT)-PCR using generic degenerate primers for potyviruses (Hrp5/Pot1 (2) and PotZ/Pot1 (3)) and carlaviruses (Decarla-u2 (5′-TGCACTGARTCMGAYTATGARGCYTT-3′ and Decarla-d1 (5′-GCACATRTCRTCVCCDGCAAA-3′) previously designed in our lab. No amplification was found from the potyvirus primers, while the carlavirus one gave an expected amplicon of 285 bp, which was found sharing 81% nucleotide sequence identity with the replicase gene of Cowpea mild mottle virus (CpMMV) (GenBank Accession No. FJ560903). A primer pair (CpMMV-CPu: 5′-TTTACTCTTAggTWATggAgTC-3′ and CpMMV-CPd: 5′-CCTATTAAAACACACAAHTCAAA-3′) was thus designed to amplify the complete coat protein (CP) gene based on the reported CP sequences and obtained an expected 867-bp product from our French bean isolate. This 867-bp sequence (JX020701) was confirmed to have 97.6% amino acid sequence identities with the CP gene of a Puerto Rican CpMMV isolate (GU191840). In a separate survey, another isolate from asparagus bean (CpMMV-V) causing mild mottling symptom was obtained. Analyses of the CP gene of CpMMV-V (JX070669) confirmed that it shared 88.8% and 97.8% of nucleotide and amino acid sequence identities with the French bean isolate, respectively. Different from most carlaviruses with aphid transmissibility, CpMMV has been shown to be transmitted non-persistently by whiteflies (1). Both CpMMV isolates from Taiwan were confirmed to be transmitted by silver leaf whiteflies (Bemicia argentifolii Bellows and Perring). This is the first record of whitefly transmissible legume virus in Taiwan. Since whitefly has been a problem in agriculture worldwide, CpMMV can be a new emerging threat for Taiwan's legume crop production.

References: (1) M. Iwaki et al. Plant Dis. 66:365, 1982. (2) S. S. Pappu et al. J. Virol. Methods 41:9, 1993. (3) F. M. Zerbini et al. Phytopathology 85:746.

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