F. Baysal-Gurel, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University-OARDC, Wooster, OH 44691;
R. Li and
K.-S. Ling, USDA-ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, SC 29414; and
S. A. Miller, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University-OARDC, Wooster, OH 44691
Virus-like symptoms including deformation, discoloration, and necrotic ringspots on green and red fruits of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Big Dena) were observed in a 400 m2 commercial high tunnel in Wayne Co., Ohio, in July and August 2013. No symptoms were observed on leaves. Incidence of symptomatic fruits was approximately 15%. Tomato seedlings transplanted into the high tunnel were produced in a greenhouse containing ornamental plants. The grower observed high levels of thrips infestation in the tomato seedlings prior to transplanting. A tospovirus was suspected as a possible causal agent. Four symptomatic fruits were tested using immunostrip tests for Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) (Agdia, Inc., Elkhart, IN), a double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) for Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV)/Tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) (Agdia, Inc., Elkhart, IN), and DAS-ELISA for TCSV (AC Diagnostics Inc., Fayetteville, AR). All of the symptomatic fruits tested negative with Agdia immunostrips and positive with the Agdia and AC Diagnostics DAS-ELISAs. Total RNA was extracted from one ELISA-positive sample using TRIZOL Reagent (Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA) and tested in RT-PCR using GRSV- or TCSV-specific primers (2). An expected RT-PCR product was generated using primers derived from TCSV S-RNA (JAP885, 5′-CTCGGTTTTCTGCTTTTC-3′ and JAP886, 5′CGGACAGGCTGGAGAAATCG3′) (~290 bp) but not when using primers specific to GRSV S-RNA (JAP887, 5′-CGTATCTGAGGATGTTGAGT-3′ and JAP888, 5′-GCTAACTCCTTGTTCTTTTG-3′). The 290-bp RT-PCR product was cloned using a TOPO TA cloning kit (Life Technologies, Grand Island, NY), and six clones were sequenced. Sequences from three clones were identical to a consensus sequence of a 292-bp fragment covering part of the TCSV nucleocapsid gene (GenBank Accession No. KJ744213). Sequences of the remaining three clones contained one, two, or three nucleotide mutations. To confirm the presence of TCSV in this sample, two newly designed primers flanking the entire nucleocapsid protein gene (TCSV-F1, 5′-AGTATTATGCATCTATAGATTAGCACA-3′ and TCSV-R1, 5′-ACAAATCATCACATTGCCAGGA-′) were used in RT-PCR to generate an expected 948-bp product. Upon cloning and sequencing, this fragment was shown to contain a full nucleocapsid protein gene of TCSV (GenBank Accession No. KM610235). The fragment contained a sequence identical to the first 292-bp RT-PCR product. BLASTn analysis (National Center for Biotechnology Information database) showed that the large fragment sequence had 98% nucleotide sequence identity to the TCSV Florida isolate (GenBank Accession No. JX244196) and 94% to the TCSV Physalis isolate (GenBank Accession No. JQ034525). Tobacco plants were inoculated mechanically with sap from symptomatic tomato fruits. Necrotic local lesions developed, and the presence of TCSV was confirmed using AC Diagnostics' DAS-ELISA. TCSV has been reported in Brazil (1), Puerto Rico (3), and Florida (2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of TCSV infecting tomatoes in Ohio. Because TCSV is transmitted by thrips and has a broad host range, this emerging virus could pose a significant threat to the U.S. vegetable industry.
References: (1) A. Colariccio et al. Fitopatol. Bras. 20:347, 1995. (2) A. Londoño et al. Trop. Plant Pathol. 37:333, 2012. (3) C. G. Webster et al. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2013-0812-01-BR, 2013.