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Integrating Local Lesion Assays with Conventional RT-PCR for Detection of Interspecies Tospovirus Reassortants and Mixed Tospovirus Infections

Tantiwanich, Yaowapa, Chiemsombat, Pissawan, Naidu, Rayapati A., Adkins, Scott
Plant disease 2018 v.102 no.4 pp. 715-719
Groundnut ringspot virus, RNA, Tomato chlorotic spot virus, Tomato spotted wilt virus, epidemiological studies, genome, genomics, host plants, immunoassays, mixed infection, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, screening, viruses, Caribbean, Florida
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) has historically been the major tospovirus present in North America. Recent emergence of Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) and Tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) in Florida and the Caribbean has complicated reliable identification of tospoviruses in this region. Field symptoms of these three tospoviruses are indistinguishable in most host plants, and commercially available TSWV lateral-flow immunoassay reagents cross react with GRSV and TCSV, leading to incorrect diagnoses of GRSV or TCSV as TSWV. Reliable diagnosis of TSWV, GRSV, and TCSV is further confounded by the fact that all currently known isolates of GRSV in the United States are reassortants containing one genomic RNA segment derived from TCSV. To address these practical challenges, we developed and validated genome segment-specific primers for conventional reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detection of the large, medium, and small RNA segments of TSWV, GRSV, and TCSV. When used in conjunction with local lesion-passaged virus isolates, the genome segment-specific RT-PCR assays developed in this study will facilitate high-throughput screening of plant or thrips samples for interspecies reassortants in epidemiological studies and reliable identification of these three tospoviruses in mixed infections commonly observed in the field.