As well as competing with crop plants for nutrients, weeds may act as alternative hosts/reservoirs for agriculturally important viruses. The perennial weed Digera arvensis is common in and around fields of crops in Asia and has previously been shown to host begomoviruses and associated betasatellites and alphasatellites. During 2017, D. arvensis plants growing adjacent to a field of cotton in Faisalabad, Pakistan, were identified with foliar yellow mosaic and curling symptoms reminiscent of begomovirus infection. The sequences of four clones of begomoviruses were obtained from two symptomatic D. arvensis plants. Analysis of the sequences showed each plant to be infected with a different begomovirus; Tomato leaf curl Kerala virus (ToLCKeV) and Pedilanthus leaf curl virus (PeLCV). Additionally, the plant infected with ToLCKeV was shown to harbour Ageratum enation alphasatellite (AEA), Ageratum yellow vein India alphasatellite (AYVIA) and Rose leaf curl betasatellite (RoLCuB). Although the plant infected with PeLCV was shown also to harbour AEA, a betasatellite which was identified by PCR, was not characterised. These findings extend the range of begomoviruses/satellites known to infect D. arvensis and highlight this weed species as an important reservoir of agriculturally important begomoviruses/satellites.
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The authors are grateful to Dr. Imran Amin and Dr. Brian Scheffler for assistance with sequencing. This material is based upon work supported by the ‘Pak-US Cotton Productivity Enhancement Program’ of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), under Agreement No. 58-6402-0-178F. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA or ICARDA. Additional funding was obtained under National Research Program for Universities, Higher Education Commission [NRPU-HEC], Pakistan under grant no 6095 to MS at the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad, Pakistan. RWB was supported by the HEC, Government of Pakistan, under the ‘Foreign Faculty Hiring Program’.
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Akram, A., Akhtar, K.P., Ullah, N. et al. Identification of two further agriculturally important begomoviruses and their associated satellites infecting the weed Digera arvensis in Pakistan. Eur J Plant Pathol 155, 659–666 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-019-01783-2
- Alternate host
- Digera arvensis