Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/13/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Kamenova, I., Adkins, S.T. 2004. Transmission, in planta distribution and management of hibiscus latent Fort Pierce virus, a novel tobamovirus isolated from Florida hibiscus. Plant Disease. 88:674-679. Interpretive Summary: We recently isolated a new tobamovirus species from hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) in Florida. Based on its ability to infect malvaceous plants, virion morphology and genome organization, this Florida hibiscus virus has been named Hibiscus latent Fort Pierce virus (HLFPV). A limited survey has revealed that this virus is widespread in hibiscus and related species in the Florida landscape. Hibiscus is vegetatively propagated by cuttings in warm climates and shipped to different regions for indoor and outdoor use. This important horticultural practice, however, is also a very effective method for virus transmission and dissemination, because once this perennial plant becomes infected it remains infected for life. Cuttings from virus infected stock plants lead to the production and ultimately dissemination of more infected plants. In the present report, three aspects of HLFPV infection of hibiscus were studied: i) the efficiency of rub-, slash- and cut-inoculation methods for its transmission to two commercial hibiscus cultivars; ii) the general pattern of virus distribution and accumulation within infected plants; and iii) the ability of different treatments to prevent transmission with contaminated tools during plant propagation and pruning. Results of these studies reveal several features of the pathosystem that will ultimately guide management strategies.
Technical Abstract: Three aspects of the infection process of a new tobamovirus species, Hibiscus latent Fort Pierce virus (HLFPV), recently isolated from hibiscus in Florida were examined: i) transmission efficiency of rub-, slash- and cut-inoculation for two hibiscus cultivars, Pink Versicolor and Brilliant Red; ii) distribution within infected hibiscus plants; and iii) treatments to prevent infection during plant propagation and pruning. Rub-, slash- and cut-inoculation methods were all effective and yielded infection rates of 66, 74 and 70%, respectively, in Pink Versicolor and 50, 56 and 38% in Brilliant Red, respectively. Analysis of virus distribution in infected plants over time revealed that the virus moved from the place of inoculation to the roots and then towards the bottom (oldest) leaves of the plants. Virus was found in all leaves on branches of Brilliant Red plants at 210 days post-inoculation, whereas it remained restricted to the bottom and middle leaves of Pink Versicolor plants at 290 days post-inoculation. Although several treatments reduced infection of hibiscus during experiments mimicking plant propagation and pruning, 10% (wt/vol) sodium hypochlorite and 20% (wt/vol) non-fat dry milk completely prevented infection.