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Characterization of Beet curly top virus Strains Circulating in Beet Leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in Northeastern Oregon

Rondon, Silvia I., Roster, Mary Sue, Hamlin, Launa L., Green, Kelsie J., Karasev, Alexander V., Crosslin, J. M.
Plant disease 2016 v.100 no.8 pp. 1586-1590
Beet curly top virus, Circulifer tenellus, Hemiptera, beans, crops, genes, genetic variation, growing season, insects, nucleotide sequences, pepper, pests, tomatoes, viruses, Oregon
The beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus, is an agriculturally important pest, particularly in the western United States. This insect transmits the Beet curly top virus (BCTV) to multiple crops, including bean, tomato, and pepper. In this study, we investigated the incidence of BCTV in individual leafhoppers collected at several sites in northeastern Oregon during the growing season in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Of the 800 insects tested, 151 (18.9%) were found positive for the virus. Percentage of virus incidence varied from 0% at one location in 2009 to a high of 55.6% for a location sampled in 2008. The complete virus genomes from one virus-positive insect collected in each of the 3 years were determined. BLAST analysis of the BCTV whole-genome sequences from 2007, 2008, and 2009 insects showed 98, 94, and 96% identities with the BCTV-Worland sequence (AY134867), respectively. The BCTV_2008 sequence showed the greatest identity (96%) with another BCTV genomic sequence (JN817383), and was found to be a recombinant between the BCTV-Worland type, representing the majority of the genome (approximately 2.2 kb), and the BCTV-CFH type that provided an approximately 0.8-kb fragment spanning replication-related genes C1 and C2. This area of the BCTV genome, between the C1 and C2 genes, was previously found to carry symptom determinants of the virus, and the data may suggest more severe effects of BCTV during the 2008 season. Results indicate that BCTV is common and widespread in C. tenellus in eastern Oregon and that there is substantial genetic diversity among the virus strains present in this important field and vegetable crop-growing region.