Pepino mosaic virusisolates and differential symptomatology in tomato

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Based on a survey conducted in commercial tomato production in Belgium in 2006, four Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) isolates that differed in symptom expression in the crop of origin were selected for greenhouse trials. The selected isolates were inoculated onto tomato plants grown in four separate plastic tunnels. PepMV symptom development was assessed regularly and extensive sampling followed by ELISA analyses, genotyping and sequencing was performed to study viral presence and variation in PepMV sequences throughout the trial period. Two isolates (EU-mild and CH2-mild) that were selected based on mild symptom expression in the crop of origin caused only mild symptoms in the trial, while two other isolates (CH2-aggressive and EU + CH2) that were selected for severe symptom display, caused considerably more severe symptoms. Sequence homology between CH2-mild and CH2-aggressive was as high as 99·4%. Results of this study show that differential symptom expression can, at least partially, be attributed to the PepMV isolate, which may be related to minor differences at the nucleotide level between isolates.

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