Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Adkins, S., Kamenova, I., Achor, D., Lewandowski, D. 2003. Biological and Molecular Characterization of a Novel Tobamovirus with a Unique Host Range. Plant Disease, v. 87: p. 1190-1196. Interpretive Summary: The discovery of Tobacco mosaic virus in the 1890's is generally considered to herald the beginning of the science of virology. The early detection and ease of experimental manipulation of the tobamoviruses have made them some of the most intensively studied of all viruses. The three major sub-groups of tobamoviruses infect (i) solanaceous plants, (ii) cucurbits and legumes, or (iii) brassicas. In this report, we present biological and molecular characterization of a virus isolated from hibiscus in Florida. Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a landscape plant in the southern U.S. and a popular indoor/outdoor potted plant in the northern U.S. Vegetative propagation makes the transmission of viruses from stock plants to cuttings a potentially serious problem. The data suggest that the Florida hibiscus virus is a novel tobamovirus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first extensive characterization of a tobamovirus that infects malvaceous plants. This unique host range, coupled with phylogenetic analysis of the deduced coat protein sequence, suggest that it may represent a new sub-group within the tobamoviruses.
Technical Abstract: Tobamoviruses are among the best characterized and most studied plant viruses. Three major sub-groups of tobamoviruses correspond to viral genome sequence and host range to include those viruses infecting (i) solanaceous plants, (ii) cucurbits and legumes, and (iii) brassicas. We isolated a virus from Florida landscape plantings of hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), which appears to be a tobamovirus based upon its virion morphology, genome organization and coat protein sequence. The experimental host range of this virus included five species in the Malvaceae but excluded all tested species in the Brassicaceae, Fabaceae and Cucurbitaceae, and most tested species in the Solanaceae. This unique host range, coupled with the sequence of the coat protein open reading frame and comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence with recognized tobamovirus coat proteins, indicate that this virus is a novel tobamovirus. A limited survey revealed that this virus is widespread in hibiscus and related species in the Florida landscape.