Potato virus Y (PVY) is a serious problem for potato production worldwide. The virus reduces both tuber yield and quality, and recent spread of recombinant strains of PVY in potato production areas is largely credited with the spread of potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease (PTNRD) (1). In Mexico, recombinant strains of PVY were reported in at least two states, Chihuahua (4) and the State of Mexico (3); however, no surveys have been conducted in other potato-producing areas, and the spectrum of PVY isolates circulating in the country has remained uncharacterized. In October 2011, a small-scale survey of seed potato was conducted in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, to identify PVY isolates present in fields. Twelve seed potato fields were inspected visually. These represented various generations of seed potato, from nuclear to G2. Leaf samples were collected from plants displaying mosaic, crinkling, and yellowing symptoms, and were tested for PVY. Fifty samples were collected from cultivars Fabula, Mondial, Fianna, Gigant, Caesar, and Adora. Of the 50 leaf samples collected, seven were PVY-positive using the Immuno-strip Kit (Agdia, Elkhart, IN), and six of these were determined to have a N-serotype according to the typing by the Pocket Diagnostics lateral flow kit (Forsite Diagnostics, Ltd., York, UK). PVY-positive samples came from cultivars Fabula (2 with N serotype), Mondial (4 with N serotype), and Fianna (1 with O serotype). Extracts of the seven PVY-positive leaf samples were applied to Whatman FTA cards (Sigma, St. Louis, MO), dried, and transported to the Plant Virology Laboratory at the University of Idaho for further characterization. All samples immobilized on FTA cards were subjected to RNA extraction and standard reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR typing using a set of PVY-specific primers (2) to determine the strain type. All PVY isolates were recombinant. The six N-serotype samples were found to contain recombinant PVYNTN isolates and produced characteristic bands of 181 and 452 bp in RT-PCR, which indicated the presence of two recombination junctions in the HC-Pro/P3 and VPg regions typical of European PVYNTN isolates. The one O-serotype sample was identified as a recombinant PVYN-Wi/N:O isolate, and produced 181 and 689 bp bands in RT-PCR, which indicated the presence of one recombination junction in the HC-Pro/P3 region. Sequence analysis of RT-PCR products amplified from five samples with N serotype identified them as PVYNTN isolates, and from the one with O serotype identified it as PVYN-Wi/N:O isolate. Sequence comparisons confirmed that N serotype samples contained PVY isolates most closely related to typical PVYNTN sequences (Accession No. EF026075), while the O serotype sample contained the PVY isolate most closely related to PVYN-Wi from Europe (HE608963). The data obtained suggest the presence of two different types of PVY recombinants, PVYNTN and PVYN-Wi, in seed potato in Jalisco. Additional surveillance for these recombinant isolates may be needed, as well as a survey of their effects on tuber quality in production areas. This is the first report of recombinant isolates of PVY often associated with PTNRD circulating in seed potato in Jalisco, Mexico.
References: (1) S. M. Gray et al. Plant Dis. 94:1384, 2010. (2) J. H. Lorenzen et al. Plant Dis. 90:935, 2006. (3) V. R. Ramirez-Rodriguez et al. Virol. J. 6:48, 2009. (4) L. Robles-Hernandez et al. Plant Dis. 94:1262, 2010.