Molecular characterization and experimental host range of an isolate of Wissadula golden mosaic St. Thomas virus

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Abstract

Partial genome segments of a begomovirus were previously amplified from Wissadula amplissima exhibiting yellow-mosaic and leaf-curl symptoms in the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica and this isolate assigned to a tentative begomovirus species, Wissadula golden mosaic St. Thomas virus. To clone the complete genome of this isolate of Wissadula golden mosaic St. Thomas virus, abutting primers were designed to PCR amplify its full-length DNA-A and DNA-B components. Sequence analysis of the complete begomovirus genome obtained, confirmed that it belongs to a distinct begomovirus species and this isolate was named Wissadula golden mosaic St. Thomas virus-[Jamaica:Albion:2005] (WGMSTV-[JM:Alb:05]). The genome of WGMSTV-[JM:Alb:05] is organized similar to that of other bipartite Western Hemisphere begomoviruses. Phylogenetic analyses placed the genome components of WGMSTV-[JM:Alb:05] in the Abutilon mosaic virus clade and showed that the DNA-A component is most closely related to four begomovirus species from Cuba, Tobacco leaf curl Cuba virus, Tobacco leaf rugose virus, Tobacco mottle leaf curl virus, and Tomato yellow distortion leaf virus. The putative Rep-binding-site motif in the common region of WGMSTV-[JM:Alb:05] was observed to be identical to that of Chino del tomate virus-Tomato [Mexico:Sinaloa:1983], Sida yellow mosaic Yucatan virus-[Mexico:Yucatan:2005], and Tomato leaf curl Sinaloa virus-[Nicaragua:Santa Lucia], suggesting that WGMSTV-[JM:Alb:05] is capable of forming viable pseudo-recombinants with these begomoviruses, but not with other members of the Abutilon mosaic virus clade. Biolistic inoculation of test plant species with partial dimers of the WGMSTV-[JM:Alb:05] DNA-A and DNA-B components showed that the virus was infectious to Nicotiana benthamiana and W. amplissima and the cultivated species Phaseolus vulgaris (kidney bean) and Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato). Infected W. amplissima plants developed symptoms similar to symptoms observed under field conditions, confirming that this virus is a causal agent of Wissadula yellow mosaic disease in W. amplissima.

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