Detection and molecular characterization of a new begomovirus associated with mosaic disease of Malachra capitata (Malvaceae)
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During a survey from March 2013 to October 2015, in Barasat, West Bengal, India, symptoms suggestive of begomovirus infection were observed in Malachra capitata. The occurrence of begomovirus on M. capitata was confirmed by symptomatology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Southern blot analysis and nucleotide analysis of the whole genome sequence. Sequence analysis showed that the virus had 90.6% identity with available sequences of Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV). We propose that the new begomovirus be named Malachra yellow mosaic virus (MalYMV). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the complete genome of the MalYMV, infecting M. capitata in West Bengal, India, has been sequenced.
KeywordsBegomovirus Malachra capitata PCR Southern blot Detection Genome
Begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) are among the most economically important plant viruses. They are efficiently transmitted by the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), resulting in crop losses estimated to exceed billions of U.S. dollars annually and threatening food security (Stansly and Naranjo 2010). Begomoviruses affect production of a wide range of important crops, including beans, cassava, cotton, squash, sweet potato, and tomato. Two of the most devastating diseases caused by begomoviruses are tomato leaf curl disease, widely distributed around the world (Lefeuvre et al. 2010), and cassava mosaic disease, which has reached pandemic levels in African countries (Legg et al. 2014). Weed species act as reservoir hosts for many economically important plant virus diseases. Weeds infected with begomoviruses have been reported from different geographic areas of the world and have been described as natural hosts of various begomoviruses (Hallan et al. 1998; Khan et al. 2012).
Malachra capitata (Family Malvaceae) is a common and frequently occurring weed species in India. It is widely distributed in cultivated and uncultivated land, wasteland, railway tracks, and road sides. It has some economic importance, as it is grown as a fibre plant in India, and formerly also in Cuba. The leaves and flowers are recorded in the Venezuelan Pharmacopoea. In some regions, roots and leaves are used as remedies for the many disease conditions such as pain, diarrhoea, convulsion, hepatic cirrhosis, inflammation, pyrexia, ulcer, dementia, healing of wounds (Ames et al. 1981; Rice-Evans et al. 1997; Bhowal and Yawalikar 2015). It is also used for bathing purposes (Tiwari et al. 1998).
To the best of our knowledge this is the first molecular evidence of a distinct new species of begomovirus infecting M. capitata in West Bengal, India. More detailed study of Malachra yellow mosaic virus is needed, as it may be a threat to other cultivated crops. Many begomoviruses are already reported as emerging and re-emerging in recent years and infecting different hosts, including economically important crops which are susceptible to begomoviruses. The spread of the disease should be studied further, and characterized in detail at the molecular level. Interactions between the hosts and vectors of the virus should also be investigated. Present results indicate that, for effective management of viral diseases, it is essential to research the potential of different weeds in the field to act as viral reservoirs.
The authors would like to thank Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi for SERB Project Grant No. SR/FT/LS-165/2012. Financial assistance from the University Grant Commission (UGC), New Delhi to Mr. Buddhadeb Roy, Senior Research Fellow (Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship), in the form of a fellowship, is gratefully acknowledged.
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