Molecular characterization of a distinct bipartite begomovirus species infecting tomato in India

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A distinct bipartite begomovirus was found associated with tomato plants showing yellowing, curling, and crumpling of the leaves, in a sub-temperate region in India. The complete DNA-A and DNA-B components were amplified through rolling circle amplification (RCA) using Φ-29 DNA polymerase and characterized. The DNA-A of the isolate was comprised of 2,756 nucleotides, encoding six open reading frames (ORFs) and DNA-B that of 2,725 nucleotides, encoding two ORFs. Genome organization of the isolate was typical of an old world bipartite begomovirus. Comparisons showed that DNA-A and its intergenic region (IR) have the highest sequence identity (86% and 84%, respectively) with the Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV; DQ116885) and some other begomoviruses (>84%) reported from cucurbits and tomato. This data suggested that the isolate is a distinct begomovirus species for which a name Tomato leaf curl Palampur virus (ToLCPMV) is proposed. DNA-B showed the maximum sequence identity (73%) with Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus-India-[Pakistan:Dargai:T5/6:2001] (AY150305). The common region (CR) of DNA-A and DNA-B showed 94% sequence similarity with each other. In the present study, phylogenetic relationship of this new species was also established with different begomoviruses reported from tomato and other begomoviruses showing highest homologies with complete DNA-A and DNA-B sequences. ToLCPMV is being reported from a sub-temperate region in India which was previously unaffected by begomoviruses and its whitefly vector.

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