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Dramatic Change in Citrus tristeza virus Populations in the Dominican Republic

March 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  3
Pages  339 - 345

Luis A. Matos , Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, and Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic ; Mark E. Hilf , United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service USHRL, Fort Pierce, FL 34945 ; Xiomara A. Cayetano , IDIAF, Dominican Republic ; Andrea O. Feliz , IDIAF and Departamento de Sanidad Vegetal-Ministerio de Agricultura, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic ; and Scott J. Harper and Svetlana Y. Folimonova , Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL 33850

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Accepted for publication 5 September 2012.

Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) is the most destructive viral pathogen of citrus and has been an important concern for the citrus industry in the Dominican Republic. Earlier studies documented widespread distribution of mild isolates of the T30 genotype, which caused no disease in the infected trees, and a low incidence of isolates of the VT and T3 genotypes, which were associated with economically damaging decline and stem-pitting symptoms in sweet orange and Persian lime, the two major citrus varieties grown in the Dominican Republic. In light of the dramatic increase in the number of severely diseased citrus trees throughout the country over the last decade, suggesting that field populations of CTV have changed, we examined the CTV pathosystem in the Dominican Republic to assess the dynamics of virus populations. In this work, we characterized the molecular composition of 163 CTV isolates from different citrus-growing regions. Our data demonstrate a dramatic change in CTV populations, with the VT genotype now widely disseminated throughout the different regions and with the presence of two new virus genotypes, T36 and RB. Multiple infections of trees resulted in development of complex virus populations composed of different genotypes.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society