New Disease Reports (2006) 13, 31.

Two new bipartite begomoviruses infecting Wissadula amplissima in Jamaica

A.M. Collins* and M.E. Roye


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Accepted: 02 Jun 2006

Begomoviruses are whitefly transmitted, single-stranded DNA viruses that infect dicotyledons (Stanley et al, 2005). In Jamaica, the weed Wissadula amplissima hosts the begomovirus Wissadula golden mosaic virus (WGMV; Roye et al., 1997).

Total DNA was extracted from two W. amplissima plants (W96 and W132) showing symptoms (Fig. 1), collected in November 2004 and February 2005 respectively. DNA-A and DNA-B amplicons of 1.4 kb were generated from these samples in PCR using primer pairs PAC1v1978/PAV1c715 and PBC1v2039/PBV1c800 for the DNA-A and DNA-B respectively. These fragments were cloned and sequenced (Rojas et al., 1993).

Analysis of the intergenic region (IR) sequence, revealed that the DNA-A and DNA-B clones from sample 96 (W96AT and W96BT respectively) are cognate components of a bipartite begomovirus, as they have 94% sequence identity. Clone pW96AT (1385 nt; DQ395342) encompasses the IR and the 5' ends of the replication-associated and coat protein genes, and showed the highest nucleotide sequence identity (81%) to Tomato mild yellow leaf curl Aragua virus (AY927277). Clone pW96BT, consisting of 845 nt encompassing the 5' part of the nuclear shuttle protein (NSP) gene and IR, showed the highest identity (50%) to Macroptilium golden mosaic virus-[Jamaica: 2] (AF098939). A DNA-A sequence identity of less than 89% to reported geminiviruses suggests that this geminivirus is previously unreported and has been tentatively named Wissadula golden mosaic St. Elizabeth virus (WGMSEV).

The IRs of the DNA-A and DNA-B clones from sample 132 (W132AT and W132BT) show 89 % identity, suggesting that they could form an infectious unit. Clone W132AT (1384 nt, DQ395343) is most closely related (77%) to WGMV-[Jamaica:1] and Jatropha mosaic virus (JMV; AF324410), whilst W132BT (DQ395344) shows 62% identity to JMV (AF324411) over 1488 nt, encompassing the 5' part of the NSP and movement protein genes and the IR. This virus was provisionally named Wissadula golden mosaic St. Thomas virus (WGMSTV). The DNA-A and DNA-B components of WGMSTV and WGMSEV show 55% and 37% identity, respectively. This is the first report of WGMSEV and WGMSTV.

Figure 1: Wissadula amplissima showing typical yellow mosaic and leaf curling symptoms
Figure 1: Wissadula amplissima showing typical yellow mosaic and leaf curling symptoms


This work was funded by The Principal's New Initiative Programme and The School of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the West Indies Mona.


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  2. 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.
  3. Roye ME, McLaughlin WA, Nakhla MK, Maxwell DP, 1997. Genetic diversity among geminiviruses associated with the weed species, Sida spp., Macroptilium lathyroides, and Wissadula amplissima from Jamaica. Plant Disease 81, 1251-1258.

This report was formally published in Plant Pathology

©2006 The Authors