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Lanai: A small, fast growing tomato variety is an excellent model system for studying geminiviruses

Rajabu, C.A., Kennedy, G.G., Ndunguru, J., Ateka, E.M., Tairo, F., Hanley-Bowdoin, L., Ascencio-Ibáñez, J.T
Journal of virological methods 2018 v.256 pp. 89-99
Aleyrodidae, Beet curly top virus, Tomato golden mosaic virus, Tomato mottle virus, Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, crops, flowers, models, plant height, ploidy, tomatoes, viruses, Lanai
Geminiviruses are devastating single-stranded DNA viruses that infect a wide variety of crops in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Tomato, which is a host for more than 100 geminiviruses, is one of the most affected crops. Developing plant models to study geminivirus-host interaction is important for the design of virus management strategies. In this study, “Florida Lanai” tomato was broadly characterized using three begomoviruses (Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, TYLCV; Tomato mottle virus, ToMoV; Tomato golden mosaic virus, TGMV) and a curtovirus (Beet curly top virus, BCTV). Infection rates of 100% were achieved by agroinoculation of TYLCV, ToMoV or BCTV. Mechanical inoculation of ToMoV or TGMV using a microsprayer as well as whitefly transmission of TYLCV or ToMoV also resulted in 100% infection frequencies. Symptoms appeared as early as four days post inoculation when agroinoculation or bombardment was used. Symptoms were distinct for each virus and a range of features, including plant height, flower number, fruit number, fruit weight and ploidy, was characterized. Due to its small size, rapid growth, ease of characterization and maintenance, and distinct responses to different geminiviruses, “Florida Lanai” is an excellent choice for comparing geminivirus infection in a common host.