FIRST REPORT OF TOMATO SPOTTED WILT VIRUS IN IBERIS SEMPERFLORENS

G. Parrella, L. Cavicchi, B. Greco, M.G. Bellardi

Abstract


Iberis semperflorens L. (family Brassicaceae) is a peren- nial evergreen shrub, endemic to southern Italy and Sicily and it has been recently proposed as flowering potted plants for commercial purposes (Iapichino and Bertolino, 2009). During summer 2013, symptoms of chlorotic/necrotic spots and rings were observed in some potted plants of I. semper- florens, cultivated in a greenhouse at Albenga (Northwest Italy). Twenty-five (5%) of 500 plants were symptomatic and 20 of these plants were sampled and tested by commercial DAS-ELISA kits for tospoviruses (Agdia, USA). All the sam- ples reacted positively only with Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) antiserum. Total RNA was extracted from leaves of ELISA-positive samples (two plants) using an EZNA to- tal RNA kit (Omega BioTek, USA) and used as template in RT-PCR reactions to confirm the presence of TSWV by us- ing tospo-generic primers, designed to amplify part of the coat protein (CP) gene of tospoviruses (Eiras et al., 2001). PCR products of the expected size (453 bp) were cloned in pGEM-T Vector (Promega, USA) and two independent clones sequenced by MWG Biotech (Germany) yielded an identical sequence (accession No. HG475336) which was compared with other TSWV sequences available in Gen- Bank using DNAMAN. The partial CP sequence showed 99.5% nucleotide identity with several Italian TSWV isolates (HQ839729-31, DQ376177-9, DQ376183, DQ915946). This new finding suggests that I. semperflorens is a newly estab- lished TSWV natural host (Parrella et al., 2004) and that it may play a role as a reservoir of the virus in nature.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4454/JPP.V95I4.016

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