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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303850

Research Project: Biology, Epidemiology and Management of Vector-Borne Viruses of Sugarbeet and Vegetable Crops

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Genetic and geographic diversity of Moroccan pepper virus

Author
item Wintermantel, William - Bill

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2014
Publication Date: 8/1/2014
Citation: Wintermantel, W.M. 2014. Genetic and geographic diversity of Moroccan pepper virus [abstract]. American Phytopathological Society. Available: http://www.apsnet.org/meetings/Documents/2014_meeting_abstracts/aps2014abP78.htm.

Interpretive Summary: Moroccan pepper virus (MPV) is one of two tombusviruses responsible for the disease, lettuce dieback, which is responsible for severe losses in western U.S. lettuce production. MPV also affects vegetable and ornamental production, and is being found with increased frequency throughout the world. In order to determine relationships among isolates from diverse locations and relate genetic variability to virus epidemiology, we sequenced the coat protein (CP) genes of several MPV isolates from California and a recent isolate from escarole (Chicorum endivia) in New Jersey, and compared sequences with those of isolates from Europe, Africa, Iran, and Japan. Comparative genetics shows the CP gene to be one of the more variable regions of the tombusvirus genome. Results demonstrated a relatively close relationship among geographically diverse isolates with all viruses exhibiting at least 96% identity in the CP gene. Geographic proximity was only partially correlated with genetic similarity. The widespread but geographically isolated distribution of MPV likely reflects movement on agricultural materials and establishment of the mechanically transmitted soil- and water-borne virus in fields. Continuing studies are examining factors leading to environmentally influenced disease development.

Technical Abstract: Moroccan pepper virus (MPV) is one of two tombusviruses responsible for the disease, lettuce dieback, which is responsible for severe losses in western U.S. lettuce production. MPV also affects vegetable and ornamental production, and is being found with increased frequency throughout the world. In order to determine relationships among isolates from diverse locations and relate genetic variability to virus epidemiology, we sequenced the coat protein (CP) genes of several MPV isolates from California and a recent isolate from escarole (Chicorum endivia) in New Jersey, and compared sequences with those of isolates from Europe, Africa, Iran, and Japan. Comparative genetics shows the CP gene to be one of the more variable regions of the tombusvirus genome. Results demonstrated a relatively close relationship among geographically diverse isolates with all viruses exhibiting at least 96% identity in the CP gene. Geographic proximity was only partially correlated with genetic similarity. The widespread but geographically isolated distribution of MPV likely reflects movement on agricultural materials and establishment of the mechanically transmitted soil- and water-borne virus in fields. Continuing studies are examining factors leading to environmentally influenced disease development.