Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2004
Publication Date: 10/10/2006
Citation: Adkins, S.T., Kamenova, I., Chiemsombat, P., Baker, C., Lewandowski, D. 2006. Tobamoviruses from hibiscus in florida and beyond. Acta Horticulturae. Interpretive Summary: Hibiscus plants are common ornamentals in Florida and other subtropical and tropical regions. They are widely used for hedges due to their dense growth and attractive flowers. Hibiscus and many of its relatives are vegetatively propagated and frequently pruned. These horticultural practices are also a very effective method for plant infection and virus spread. We recently isolated a new tobamovirus species from symptomatic hibiscus plants in Florida. This Florida hibiscus virus has been given the name Hibiscus latent Fort Pierce virus (HLFPV) to reflect the site of its original detection (Fort Pierce, Florida) and its natural host (hibiscus). Our initial survey has revealed that HLFPV is widespread in landscape hibiscus plants in 10 counties examined throughout peninsular Florida. Another serologically distinct but genetically related hibiscus-infecting tobamovirus, Hibiscus latent Singapore virus (HLSV), has recently been reported from Singapore. Several temperate hibiscus species have recently been found infected with HLFPV, potentially extending the geographic range of HLFPV beyond subtropical and tropical regions. Detection of HLFPV in Thailand demonstrates the presence of this virus in both North America and Southeast Asia.
Technical Abstract: Malvaceous plants have not been known as hosts for any of the recognized tobamovirus species until quite recently. Three sub-groups of tobamoviruses have been described that infect solanaceous plants, brassicas, and cucurbits or legumes. We isolated a new tobamovirus species, Hibiscus latent Fort Pierce virus (HLFPV) from landscape plantings of the malvaceous plant hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) in Florida, and a related hibiscus-infecting tobamovirus, Hibiscus latent Singapore virus (HLSV), has been reported from Singapore. The experimental host range of HLFPV is mostly limited to the Malvaceae, which includes fiber and food crops such as cotton, kenaf and okra, in addition to economically important ornamental crops like hibiscus. Serological and molecular methods were compared to evaluate their usefulness for diagnosis of HLFPV. An initial survey by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for HLFPV in landscape hibiscus plants in Florida has shown a high level of incidence. Subsequent analysis of related malvaceous species has identified HLFPV infection of Turk's cap, rose of Sharon, scarlet rosemallow and common rosemallow. A similar virus has been detected in hibiscus in Thailand by tissue-blot immunoassay. Cloning of the coat protein gene of Thai virus isolates and subsequent analysis showed the nucleotide and amino acid sequences to be nearly identical to HLFPV. Cloning and sequencing of the HLFPV genome indicate that it is distinct from but related to HLSV. However, the coat protein genes and deduced proteins of HLFPV and HLSV are only 37-53% identical to all other tobamovirus species, suggesting the existence of a malvaceous-infecting subgroup of tobamoviruses.