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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380788

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Sustainable Production Systems for Sub-tropical and Tropical Crops in the Pacific Basin

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Title: A novel ampelovirus associated with mealybug wilt of pineapple (Ananas comosus)

item LARREA-SARMIENTO, A - University Of Hawaii
item OLMEDO-VELARDE, A - University Of Hawaii
item WANG, X - University Of Hawaii
item BORTH, W - University Of Hawaii
item Matsumoto Brower, Tracie
item Suzuki, Jon
item Wall, Marisa
item MELZER, MICHAEL - University Of Hawaii
item HU, JOHN - University Of Hawaii

Submitted to: Virus Genes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2021
Publication Date: 6/28/2021
Citation: Larrea-Sarmiento, A., Olmedo-Velarde, A., Wang, X., Borth, W., Matsumoto Brower, T.K., Suzuki, J.Y., Wall, M.M., Melzer, M., Hu, J.S. 2021. A novel ampelovirus associated with mealybug wilt of pineapple (Ananas comosus). Virus Genes. 57:464-468.

Interpretive Summary: Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical crop native to South and Central America that produces a popular edible fruit. Mealybug wilt disease of pineapple (MWP), first described in Hawaii in 1910 has contributed to yield reductions in pineapple-growing countries around the world. The cause of MWP is not fully understood, but is variously associated with the presence of multiple plant viruses, mealybugs that serve as potential carriers of the virus, ants that may act to protect and help spread mealybugs, and certain environmental factors. During an August 2019 survey, plants with typical disease symptoms of MWP as well as plants without symptoms were collected from pineapple fields in Hawaii. Based on gene sequence analysis, a new, distinct member of the plant virus Ampelovirus previously identified in pineapple in Hawaii and elsewhere was found only in plants samples with disease symptoms. This result suggests that the newly identified Ampelovirus may play a role in MWP. In addition to this finding, a PCR-based detection method was developed in this study to monitor for the presence of this virus in the field or in plant collections and to help further understand the possible role of this virus in MWP.

Technical Abstract: Mealybug wilt of pineapple (MWP) is the most important and complex viral disease affecting pineapple worldwide. High-throughput sequencing was conducted to characterize a new virus identifed only in symptomatic pineapple plants and tentatively named pineapple mealybug wilt-associated virus 6 (PMWaV-6). Data analyses revealed a genome of 17,854 nucleotides with an organization resembling members of the genus Ampelovirus, family Closteroviridae. Encoded proteins shared sequence identity with the corresponding proteins of grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3, blackberry vein banding-associated virus, and PMWaV-2. The present study reports the discovery of PMWaV-6, a putative and distinct new member of the genus Ampelovirus, subgroup I, its potential involvement in MWP, and the development of PMWaV-6-specifc RT-PCR assays to detect and monitor this virus in field samples.