Potato mop top virus (PMTV) is considered the type member of the genus Pomovirus. PMTV is an important pathogen of potato vectored by the plasmodiophorid Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea (Sss), which causes powdery scab of potato (1). Sss and PMTV are usually associated with cool and humid environments. PMTV-infected potato tubers generally exhibit internal hollow necrotic spots or concentric rings, and the virus is known to cause significant economic losses in Northern Europe, North and South America, and Asia (4). PMTV in the United States was first reported in Maine (2). Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers cv. FL2048 and cv. Atlantic were sent to our laboratory from fields in Saguache County in Colorado and in San Juan County in New Mexico, respectively, during the spring of 2013. The tubers from both locations had multiple, internal, concentric, necrotic arcs and circles. Internal tissue with necrotic lesion from six symptomatic tubers from each location were crushed in liquid nitrogen followed by ribonucleic acid extraction using a Total RNA Isolation kit (Promega Corp., Madison, WI). These extracts were tested by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR using three different sets of previously published primers for molecular detection of PMTV. The primer set H360/C819 targeting the coat protein (CP) on RNA 3 of PMTV yielded an amplicon (H360-CO and H360-NM) of 460 bp (4). The second set of primers, pmtF4/pmtR4 (5), amplified a 417-bp product (PMTF-CO and PMTF-NM) in RNA 2, and the third set, PMTV-P9/PMTV-M9 (3), designed to amplify the region encoding an 8-KD cysteine-rich protein in RNA 3 of PMTV, yielded a 507-bp amplicon (PMTV9-CO and PMTV9-NM). The amplicons generated from RT-PCR using all three sets were cloned (PGEMT-easy) and sequenced. Since the sequences from symptomatic tuber extracts from each location were identical to their respective primer sets, a consensus sequence from each primer set was submitted to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) GenBank. Sequences obtained from the H360/C819 primer set (GenBank Accession Nos. KM207013 and KM207014 for H360-CO and H360-NM, respectively) were 100% identical to the corresponding CP regions of PMTV isolates from North Dakota (HM776172). Sequences from the pmtF4/pmtR4 primer set (KM207015 and KM207016 for PMTF-CO and PMTF-NM, respectively) were 100% identical to the corresponding protein in RNA2 of PMTV isolates from North Dakota (GenBank HM776171), and sequences from the PMTV-P9/PMTV-M9 primer set (KM207017 and KM207018 for PMTV9-CO and PMTV9-NM respectively) were 99% identical to the corresponding protein in RNA3 of PMTV isolates (AY187010). The 100-99% homology of the sequences from this study to the corresponding PMTV sequences published in NCBI confirmed the occurrence of symptoms in the tubers from both Colorado and New Mexico due to PMTV. None of the symptomatic tubers tested positive for Tobacco rattle virus, Tomato spotted wilt virus, Alfalfa mosaic virus, Potato leafroll virus, or the necrotic strains of Potato virus Y by RT-PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PMTV in potato in states of Colorado and New Mexico.
References: (1) R. A. C. Jones and B. D. Harrsion. Ann. Appl. Biol. 63:1, 1969. (2) D. H. Lambert et al. Plant Dis. 87:872, 2003. (3) T. Nakayama et al. Am. J. Pot. Res. 87:218, 2010. (4) J. Santala et al. Ann. Appl. Biol. Online publication. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2010.00423.x (5) H. Xu et al. Plant Dis. 88:363, 2004.