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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #176235


item Adkins, Scott

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/9/2005
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Citation: Adkins, S.T., Baker, C.A. 2005. Tomato spotted wilt virus identified in desert rose in Florida. Plant Disease. 89:526.

Interpretive Summary: This is the first report of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) infecting desert rose in Florida. A description of the symptoms and report of incidence are included. Diagnostic methods used to confirm the identity of TSWV are also described. This report continues a cooperative virology research effort between ARS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. It also provides a timely account of TSWV infection of desert rose to growers, Extension personnel and state and Federal regulatory and research scientists.

Technical Abstract: Desert rose (Adenium obesum), a member of the Apocynaceae, is characterized by fleshy stems and leaves and colorful flowers. This popular, exotic ornamental, originally from southeast Africa, is propagated vegetatively and is a perennial in warm climates. Virus-like foliar symptoms, including chlorotic ring and line patterns were observed on one of five stock plants being maintained in a greenhouse in Fort Pierce, FL. Inclusion body morphology suggested the presence of a Tospovirus. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) was specifically identified using a commercially available double antibody sandwich-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Sequence analysis of a nucleocapsid (N) protein gene fragment amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with primers TSWV723 and TSWV722 from total RNA confirmed the diagnosis. Nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of a 579 base pair region of the RT-PCR product were 95-99% and 95-100% identical, respectively, to TSWV N-gene sequences in GenBank. Since these 3-year-old plants were grown on-site from seed and only expressed symptoms two months following damage to the greenhouse by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, it is likely that viruliferous thrips were introduced during or following the storms. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first report of TSWV infection of desert rose in Florida although TSWV was observed in this plant in Europe about ten years ago.