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Title: Molecular and biological characterization of Tomato mottle mosaic virus and development of RT-PCR detection

item SUI, XUELIAN - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item ZHENG, YI - Boyce Thompson Institute
item Li, Rugang
item Padmanabhan, Chellappan
item TIAN, TONGYAN - California Department Of Food And Agriculture
item KEINATH, ANTHONY - Clemson University
item FEI, ZHANGJUN - Boyce Thompson Institute
item WU, ZUJIAN - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Ling, Kai-Shu

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2016
Publication Date: 5/1/2017
Citation: Sui, X., Zheng, Y., Li, R., Padmanabhan, C., Tian, T., Groth-Helms, D., Keinath, A.P., Fei, Z., Wu, Z., Ling, K. 2017. Molecular and biological characterization of Tomato mottle mosaic virus and development of RT-PCR detection. Plant Disease. 101:704-711.

Interpretive Summary: Tomato is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. The United States is the world’s second largest tomato producer, only after China. Diseases caused by viruses are one of the most critical factors affecting tomato production worldwide. Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV) is an emerging virus on tomato first identified in Mexico in 2013, which has now been recognized with a broad geographic distribution around the world. In this study, we conducted molecular, serological and biological characterization of ToMMV and developed a species-specific molecular detection to distinguish ToMMV from related Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). With an expanding host range and resistance breaking on tomato, ToMMV has posed a serious challenge to the tomato industry. Understanding the biological properties and making available species-specific detection technology will facilitate the process of developing tomato cultivars with durable tobamovirus resistance, which will be important in controling this emerging virus disease.

Technical Abstract: Since its first identification as a new species infecting tomato in Mexico in 2013, Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV) has shown to distribute broadly in the world. It this study, we intended to evaluate its genetic diversity, characterize its serological and biological properties, and compare them with two closely related tomato-infecting tobamoviruses: Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). Through additional survey and deep sequencing, two new isolates of ToMMV from the U.S. were identified in South Carolina and California. With cross-serological reactivity among tomato-infecting tobamoviruses, a sensitive multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was developed to achieve a reliable species-specific detection and identification to each of these three tobamoviruses. Comparative evaluation of host range demonstrated some unique host species for ToMMV in comparison to that of ToMV. To evaluate whether ToMMV is capable of breaking disease resistance, three commercial tomato cultivars were tested. To our surprise, ToMMV exhibited aggressiveness in virulence and broke the resistance in tomato cultivar ‘B’ that had demonstrated a full resistance to ToMV. This resistance breaking by the emerging ToMMV is a serious concern to the tomato industry. Taken together, understanding in the molecular and biological properties of ToMMV and development of species-specific detection to tomato-infecting tobamoviruses will facilitate the development of new tomato cultivars resistance to ToMMV.