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Detection and characterization of Tomato spotted wilt virus infecting field and greenhouse-grown crops in Zimbabwe

Karavina, Charles, Gubba, Augustine
European journal of plant pathology 2017 v.149 no.4 pp. 933-944
Cucurbita moschata, plant viruses, phylogeny, Cucurbita pepo, genes, plant diseases and disorders, antibodies, nucleocapsid, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, viruses, Tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus, leaves, geographical distribution, host range, Cucumis sativus, hosts, amino acid sequences, control methods, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, disease surveys, crops, New Zealand, Italy, Zimbabwe, Montenegro, Serbia
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), the type species of the genus Tospovirus in the family Bunyaviridae, is one of the most economically important emerging plant viruses worldwide. It causes over US$1 billion losses annually in open field and greenhouse-grown crops. A study was carried out to determine the geographical distribution, host range and phylogeny of TSWV in Zimbabwe. Disease surveys were conducted in 18 districts over a three-year period using tospovirus immunostrips. Virus-infected leaf samples were collected on FTA cards and in RNAlater solution. TSWV was characterized by double antibody sandwich-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The virus was detected in 50% of the districts surveyed, mostly in the country’s prime agricultural region. It was confirmed to be present by DAS-ELISA and RT-PCR. In addition to some previously reported hosts, TSWV was detected for the first time in Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita pepo, Cucumis sativus and Gyposphila elegans. Molecular analysis of the TSWV nucleocapsid gene showed that Zimbabwean TSWV isolates were highly similar (≥93.99%) and identical (99.02%) to each other at nucleotide and amino acid sequence levels. When compared to isolates from the rest of the world, Zimbabwean TSWV isolates were most closely related to isolates from Italy, Montenegro, New Zealand and Serbia. The study lays the foundation for future TSWV studies by providing protocols and procedures that could be used. Information generated in this study will be useful in formulating effective TSWV control measures.