G.C. Hall, A.P. Graham* and M.E. Roye
Biotechnology Centre, 2 St. John’s Close, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica, West Indies
Accepted: 08 Dec 2006
Samples of the malvaceous weed Malachra alceifolia from Spanish Town (St. Catherine, Jamaica), with yellow mosaic symptoms, were tested for begomovirus infection with primer pair PAL1v1978/PAR1c715 (Rojas et al., 1993). These primers are designed to amplify a segment of the DNA-A component spanning the 5’ends of the coat protein and replication-associated protein genes, as well as the intergenic region. A 1.4 kb fragment of the DNA-A generated by PCR was cloned and sequenced (accession number DQ856582).
BLASTN analysis shows the M. alceifolia virus to be most similar (94.3% nucleotide sequence identity) to Tobacco leaf curl Cuba virus (TbLCuCUV; accession number AM050143), a begomovirus species recently reported from Cuba, which causes foliar rugosity in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum; Morán et al., 2005). The intergenic regions show 94.0% identity and the two viruses have identical, predicted iteron sequences. These results indicate that the Jamaican virus is a likely isolate of the Tobacco leaf curl Cuba virus, for which the designation Tobacco leaf curl Cuba virus-[Jamaica] (TbLCuCUV -[JM]) is proposed. This conclusion is supported by phylogenetic analysis, which segregates TbLCuCUV -[JM] with the Cuban isolate.
This is the first report of the occurrence of TbLCuCUV in Jamaica and the first report of a geminivirus infecting M. alceifolia. Although geminiviral infection of tobacco has not been reported in Jamaica, this finding indicates that Jamaica’s small commercial tobacco cultivation may be at risk of infection by TbLCuCUV.
This work was funded by The Principal’s New Initiative Fund and The School of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
Morán YM, Ramos PL, Domínguez M, Fuentes AD, Sánchez Y, Crespo JA, 2005. Tobacco leaf curl Cuba virus, a new begomovirus infecting tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) in Cuba. Plant Pathology 55, 570. (First published online: New Disease Reports 12, http://www.ndrs.org.uk/ jan2006/2005-78.asp)
Rojas MR, Gilbertson RL, Russell DR, Maxwell DP, 1993. Use of degenerate primers in the polymerase chain reaction to detect whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses. Plant Disease 77, 340-347.
©2006 The Authors