Molecular and biological characterization ofPotato mop-top virus(PMTV,Pomovirus) isolates from the potato-growing regions of Colombia

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Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) causes necrotic flecks inside and on tubers in temperate countries. In South America, these symptoms have not been observed, although the presence of the virus has been confirmed in the Andes and in Central America. To characterize PMTV isolates from the Andes, soil samples were taken from the main potato-producing regions in Colombia and virus was recovered by planting Nicotiana benthamiana as bait plants. The complete genomes of five isolates were sequenced and three of the isolates were inoculated to four different indicator plants. Based on sequence comparisons, three types of RNA-CP (RNA2) and RNA-TGB (RNA3) were found. The isolates from the centre of the country (CO3 and CO4) were similar to isolates from Europe. The genomes of CO1, CO2 and CO5 differ from other PMTV isolates, placing them in a separate clade in phylogenetic trees. The three Colombian isolates (CO1, CO2 and CO5) only induced slightly different symptoms in the indicator plants. However, the isolate from the northwest of the country (CO1) induced stronger symptoms in N. benthamiana including severe stunting. A correlation between the genotype of the isolates and the symptoms they induced on indicator plants was not found.

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