Biological and molecular properties of Tomato rugose mosaic virus (ToRMV), a new tomato-infecting begomovirus from Brazil

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A viral complex causing golden mosaic and leaf distortion (rugosity) in tomato plants was obtained from viruliferous whiteflies, and named TGV-Ub1. This complex was sap-transmitted from tomato to Nicotiana benthamiana. PCR amplification using universal begomovirus primers yielded two distinct fragments for DNA-A, suggesting that the TGV-Ub1 complex comprised at least two distinct viruses. Clones corresponding to full-length viral genomes were obtained from tomato plants infected with TGV-Ub1. Comparisons of the complete sequences of clones pUb1-49 (DNA-A), pUb1-62 and pUb1-81 (both DNA-B) indicated that they constitute novel western hemisphere begomoviruses. Clones pUb1-49 and pUB1-81 have identical common regions, thus representing the cognate DNA-A and -B of a novel begomovirus, named Tomato rugose mosaic virus (ToRMV). Clone pUb1-62 has a distinct common region from ToRMV and all other geminiviruses. A cognate DNA-A for pUb1-62 was not found. Clones containing 1·8 copies of the genomic components were constructed. Infectivity assays of these clones in tomato and N. benthamiana demonstrated that the clones corresponding to ToRMV systemically infected both hosts. Symptoms were analogous to those observed when using the pure isolates obtained in this study. The combination of pUb1-49 and −62 did not result in systemic infection, indicating that these components do not form a viable virus. ToRMV was sap-transmitted from N. benthamiana to N. benthamiana, and by grafting to Solanum tuberosum and Datura stramonium. ToRMV-A and ToRMV-B were detected in plants of Nicandra physaloides and Phaseolus vulgaris, respectively, growing in nearby tomato fields, in association with distinct DNA components.

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