New Disease Reports (2000) 9, 20.

First report of Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus affecting chilli pepper in Pakistan

M. Hussain 1, S. Mansoor 1*, S. Iram 1, Y. Zafar 1 and R.W. Briddon 2


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Accepted: 04 Apr 2000

Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) is a bipartite begomovirus that infects tomato and watermelon crops in the Indian subcontinent (Padidam et al., 1995a; Mansoor et al., 2000). Chilli pepper is an important crop on the Indian subcontinent, that often shows symptoms similar to tomato leaf curl, such as yellowing, leaf curling, a reduction in leaf size and stunting. Since chilli and tomato crops overlap in the field, it is likely that chilli peppers may become infected with tomato begomoviruses. To assess the presence of ToLCNDV in chilli pepper, symptomatic plant samples were collected from several locations in the Punjab province of Pakistan. To confirm begomovirus infection, total DNA was isolated from leaf samples, resolved in agarose gels and blotted onto nylon membranes and probed with a radioactively-labelled probe of DNA A of ToLCNDV. The probe hybridised with bands in all the samples collected from symptomatic plant, when the blot was washed at medium stringency. To confirm infection of ToLCNDV, PCR was carried out using degenerate begomovirus DNA A primers and products were obtained from these samples. A nearly full-length clone of this DNA A product was partially sequenced and was found to share 95% sequence identity with DNA A of ToLCNDV. These results confirmed ToLCNDV infection in chilli pepper in Pakistan. The DNA A positive samples were also tested by hybridisation using ToLCNDV DNA B as a virus-specific probe (Padidam et al., 1995b). A positive signal was detected in six out of eight samples that were positive using the DNA A probe. The presence of ToLCNDV was further confirmed by PCR using specific primers for DNA B (Padidam et al., 1995), based on the movement protein gene of ToLCNDV (BC1F 5'-CACCATGGCAATAGGAAATGATGGTATGGG-3' and BC1R 5'-AAGGAT CCTCTTAATTTTTTGAATAAATTTGGC-3'). The use of these primers produced products of the expected size from all samples positive by hybridisation.

These results prove the occurrence of ToLCNDV in chilli pepper crops in Pakistan. Previous reports have identified the presence of distinct begomoviruses in chilli crops (Shih et al., 2003), but this is the first confirmed finding of ToLCNDV.


  1. Mansoor S, Khan SH, Hussain M, Mushtaq N, Zafar Y, Malik KA, 2000. Evidence that watermelon leaf curl disease in Pakistan is associated with tomato leaf curl virus-India. Plant Disease 84, 102.
  2. Padidam M, Beachy RN, Fauquet CM, 1995a. Tomato leaf curl geminivirus from India has a bipartite genome and coat protein is not essential for infectivity. Journal of General Virology 76, 25-35.
  3. Padidam M, Beachy RN, Fauquet CM, 1995b. Classification and identification of geminiviruses using sequence comparisons. Journal of General Virology 76, 249-263.
  4. Shih, SL, Tsai WS, Green SK, Khalid S, Ahmad I, Rezaian MA, 2003. Molecular characterisation of tomato and chili leaf curl begomoviruses from Pakistan. Plant Disease 87, 200.

This report was formally published in Plant Pathology

©2000 The Authors