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Heterogeneity in Pepper Isolates of Cucumber Mosaic Virus. Gerardo Rodriguez-Alvarado, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521. Gael Kurath, and J. Allan Dodds, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521. Plant Dis. 79:450-455. . Accepted for publication 23 January 1995. Copyright 1995 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-79-0450.

Twenty-four cucumber mosaic cucumovirus (CMV) field isolates from pepper crops in Cali-fornia were characterized and compared by nucleic acid hybridization subgrouping, virion electrophoresis, and biological effects in several hosts. Isolates, belonging to subgroup I or subgroup II, were found that induced severe symptoms in mechanically inoculated bell pep-pers. Only two isolates, both from subgroup II, were mild. A group of 19 isolates collected from a single field were all in subgroup II and appeared identical by virion electrophoresis, but they exhibited varying degrees of symptom severity in peppers. As a more detailed indicator of heterogeneity, these 19 isolates were examined by RNase protection assays to delect sequence variation in the coat protein gene region of their genomes. The patterns of bands observed were complex and a high degree of genomic heterogeneity was detected between isolates, with no apparent correlation to symptomatology in bell pepper.