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First Report of Tomato ringspot virus Infecting Pepper in Iran.

Chili pepper (Capsicum frutescens) represents an important crop in Iran and is under cultivation in different regions in Northern Iran. In spring 2012, commercially grown tabasco (Capsicum frutescens) peppers in Varamin, Shahriar, and Karaj districts of Tehran province developed an undescribed disease. Symptoms observed were mosaic, leaf malformations, and stunting. Fruit symptoms included chlorosis and distortion. To verify the identity of the disease, six fields were surveyed and 72 symptomatic leaves were collected and screened by double antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA using specific antibodies to Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV), Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMV), Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV), Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV). ToRSV was found in 23% of the samples collected. None of the samples had a positive reaction to other tested viruses. The ToRSV-positive peppers were used for mechanical transmission to Chenopodium quinoa, local lesion host, and after two cycles of single local lesion isolation, they were transferred to Cucumis sativus, Solanum esculentum, and Capsicum fructescens. Inoculations resulted in systemic mosaic and chlorotic local lesion on C. sativus; leaf distortion and mosaic on S. esculentum; and mosaic, mottle, and stunting on C. fructescens. All inoculated plants were positive for ToRSV with DAS-ELISA. To further verify ToRSV infection, reverse transcription (RT)-PCR was conducted. Two primers were designed on the basis of the highly conserved sequences of the putative viral polymerase gene available in the GenBank. RT-PCR of total RNA extract from infected peppers and inoculated plants with the designed primers RdR-R (5'-CGCCTGGTAATTGAGTAGCCC-3') and RdR-F (5'-GAAGAGCTAGAGCCTCAACCAGG-3'), consistently amplified the 411-bp product, while no amplification products were obtained from noninfected control (healthy plants). The fragment from tabasco pepper was cloned into pTZ57R/T (Ins T/A clone PCR Cloning kit, Fermentas, St. Leon-Rot, Germany) and sequenced in both directions of three clones. The resulting nucleotide sequence (GenBank Accession No. JQ972695) had the highest identity (94%) with the polymerase gene of a ToRSV isolate from blueberry cv. Patriot (Accession No. GQ141528) and had lower identity (91%) with that of a ToRSV isolate from blueberry cv. Bluecrop (Accession No. GQ141525). Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV) is reported to infect Capsicum spp. in the United States (1,2). Our results confirm the natural infection of pepper plants in Tehran by ToRSV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ToRSV infection of pepper in Iran. The finding of this disease in Tehran confirms further spread of the virus within northern regions of Iran and prompts the need for research to develop more effective management options to reduce the impact of ToRSV on pepper crops. Beside, primers designed on the basis of putative viral polymerase gene sequences may improve the detection of ToRSV isolates by RT-PCR in Iran. References: (1) S. K. Green and J. S. Kim. Technical Bulletin. No.18, 1991. (2) G. P. Martelli and A. Quacquarelli. Acta Hortic. 127:39, 1983.

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First Report of Black raspberry necrosis virus in Rubus canadensis in Tennessee.

Symptoms that resembled virus infection were observed on several smooth blackberry (Rubus canadensis L.) plants in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) during a project carried out in the summer and fall of 2006 as part of All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) activities (2). Diseased specimens showed chlorosis and mottling as well as deformation of younger leaves. Symptomatic leaves were collected, and preliminary screening by double-antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA did not detect Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV), or Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) in these samples. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) extracted from symptomatic leaves of two diseased specimens (GSM-1 and GSM-2) revealed two bands with sizes estimated at 7.5 and 6.5 kb. Purified dsRNAs from specimen GSM-1 were used as a template to generate random-primed cDNA clones. Several clones were sequenced and analysis of approximately 3 kb of contiguous sequence (GenBank Accession No. EU419645) revealed the presence of a single open reading frame encoding a protein containing the complete proteinase and partial polymerase domains. BLAST analysis showed that the virus from R. canadensis shared 77 and 87% nucleotide and amino acid sequence identity, respectively, with the recently described putative sadwavirus Black raspberry necrosis virus (BRNV) (GenBank Accession No. NC_008182) (1), suggesting that this virus is a distinct isolate of BRNV. The virus shared a lower degree of identity with the analogous sequences of other viruses belonging to the genus Sadwavirus, with only 48 and 37% identity with Strawberry mottle virus (GenBank Accession No. NC_003445) and Satsuma dwarf virus (GenBank Accession No. NC_003785), respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report of BRNV in GSMNP and Tennessee, indicating that it may be widespread in native Rubus spp. through the southeastern United States. References: (1) A. Halgren et al. Phytopathology 97:44, 2007. (2) M. J. Sharkey. Fla. Entomol. 84:556, 2001.

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Xiphinema rivesi from Slovania Transmit Tobacco ringspot virus and Tomato ringspot virus to Cucumber Bait Plants.

The dagger nematode, Xiphinema rivesi Dalmasso, a member of the X. americanum group, was detected in 2002 for the first time in Slovenia and for the fourth time in Europe (4). X. rivesi is a vector of at least four North American nepoviruses including Cherry rasp leaf virus (CRLV), Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV), and Peach rosette mosaic virus (PRMV) (1,2). All of these viruses are included on the EPPO and EU lists of quarantine organisms, but none of the Xiphinema species found in Europe have been reported to transmit these nepoviruses. Three virus isolates, including TRSV (from Lobelia spp.; virus collection of the Plant Protection Service, Wageningen, The Netherlands), ToRSV (grapevine isolate PV-0381; DSMZ, Braunschweig, Germany), and Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV) (from Vinca spp.; virus collection of the Plant Protection Service), were used in transmission tests with a population of X. rivesi found in Slovenia. X. rivesi is not known to transmit ArMV and this virus was included as a check. The nematodes were extracted from peach orchard soil collected near the village of Dornberk, and transmission tests fulfilled the set of criteria proposed by Trudgill et al. (3). Cucumis sativus cv. Eva, grown in a growth chamber at 25°C, was used as acquisition hosts and transmission bait plants. The acquisition hosts were mechanically inoculated and showing systemic symptoms before the introduction of nematodes. Noninoculated acquisition plants were included as controls. After a 10-day acquisition feeding period, the nematodes were transferred to healthy bait plants and allowed a 14-day inoculation feeding period. X. rivesi transmitted TRSV and ToRSV but not ArMV. TRSV and ToRSV bait plants developed systemic symptoms 4 to 6 weeks after the nematodes were transferred. Transmission of TRSV and ToRSV was confirmed by testing leaf and root sap of bait plants in a double antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA. High virus concentrations were detected in the roots and leaves of TRSV and ToRSV symptomatic plants. DAS-ELISA on bait plants from nematodes that had been allowed to feed on ArMV-infected or the virus-free control acquisition plants gave negative results. No symptoms appeared on bait plants used for ArMV transmission or the control bait plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of transmission of TRSV and ToRSV with a Xiphinema population from Europe. References: (1) D. J. F. Brown et al. Phytopathology 84:646, 1994. (2) L.W. Stobbs et al. Plant Dis. 80:105, 1996. (3) D. L. Trudgill et al. Rev. Nematol. 6:133, 1983. (4) G. Urek et al. Plant Dis. 87:100, 2002.

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Occurrence of Arabis mosaic virus in Hostas in the United States.

Hostas (Hosta spp.) are one of the most widely grown and economically important landscape perennials in the nursery industry in North America. Several viruses including Hosta virus X (HVX), Tobacco rattle virus (TRV), Tobacco ringspot virus (ToRSV), Tomato ringspot virus (TomRSV), Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV), and Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) are known to occur in hostas (4). This report confirms the occurrence of an additional virus, Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV), in hostas in North America. This virus was first identified during the summer of 2004 in Hosta fortunei 'Sharmon' in several garden centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Entire lots of this variety, numbering several dozen plants, showed symptoms consisting of blanching of the foliage similar to those caused by ToRSV and TomRSV infection (4). Symptoms persisted throughout the growing season. Virus-like particles, 28 to 30 nm in diameter, were observed by electron microscopy in partially purified extracts of symptomatic leaf tissue following fixation with 5% glutaraldehyde and negative staining with 2% sodium phosphotungstate, pH 7.0. Particles had an angular outline and some were penetrated by stain. No other virus-like particles were observed in these extracts. The particles were identified as those of ArMV. Identification was made using double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) and immunosorbent electron microscopy (ISEM) with antiserum to ArMV (PVAS-587) obtained from the American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, VA. In the spring and summer of 2005, ArMV was again identified as described above in 'Sharmon', H. undulata 'Albomarginata' samples from Minnesota, Michigan, and Nebraska, and H. 'Marion Bachman' and H. 'Touch of Class' from two wholesale nurseries in Minnesota. Symptoms in these hosta cultivars were similar to those observed in 'Sharmon' and were accompanied by stunting and leaf deformation. A portion of the coat protein (CP) gene of the ArMV isolate from 'Sharmon', designated ArMV-H, was amplified using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with ArMV-specific CP primers (3) and total RNA extracted with a RNeasy Plant Mini Kit (Qiagen Inc., Valencia, CA). Amplicons of the expected size (220 bp) were cloned and five clones were sequenced. Nucleotide sequence identities of the ArMV-H CP sequence to corresponding ArMV databank entries varied from 94 to 88% (Genbank Accession Nos. AY017339 and D10086 and X55460 and X81815, respectively). Interestingly, the hosta ArMV isolate was not transmitted by mechanical inoculation to diagnostically susceptible indicator plants (cucumber, tobacco, and petunia) (2) or to hosta (H. undulata 'Albormarginata', H. 'Honeybells', and H. 'Royal Standard'). Testing by using ELISA and ISEM showed that 'Sharmon' source plants contained high levels of ArMV antigen and virions, and a high percentage of virions were not penetrated by negative stain, indicating that they were not empty (i.e., devoid of RNA). It appears that ArMV-H may be transmitted only vertically, (i.e., clonal propagation) and this raises some interesting questions about the molecular basis of this anomaly. An isolate of ArMV from hops was similarly reported to have a very restricted host range (1) suggesting a possibility of a common mechanism of host range restriction. References: (1) K. R. Bock. Ann. Appl. Biol. 57:431, 1966. (2) A. A. Brunt et al. Viruses of Plants. CAB Internacional Mycological Institute, Wallingford, UK, 1995. (3) P. Kominek et al. Acta Virol. 47:199, 2003. (4) B. E. L. Lockhart and S. Currier. Acta Hortic. 432:62, 1996.

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First Report of Tomato ringspot virus in Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii).

Leaves displaying bright yellow or light green line pattern symptoms were collected from individual, large, mature buddleias in a home garden in Clemson, SC, a botanical garden in Knoxville, TN, and a container-grown plant on sale in a retail home and garden store in Seneca, SC. Buddleias grown in the southeastern United States frequently display virus-like symptoms, but the line pattern symptom displayed by these plants was atypical of the mosaic, mottling, and leaf deformation seen when buddleias are infected with Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) or Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) (2,4). Line pattern symptoms are frequently seen in woody species infected by ilarviruses or nepoviruses (2). No ilarviruses are reported to infect buddleia and only the nepovirus, Strawberry latent ringspot virus, which is restricted mainly to Europe, is reported to infect this species (1,2). The nepoviruses Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV) and Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV) are frequently found infecting plants of many species in the southeastern United States (3). Total RNA was extracted from the three symptomatic plants and used in reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) to detect ToRSV and TRSV using primer pairs developed in this laboratory, which amplify regions around the amino terminus of the coat protein of the respective viruses. The expected amplification product for ToRSV of 327 base pairs was obtained from samples tested from each plant, and the nucleotide sequence of the product showed 96% identity with the corresponding fragment of GenBank Accession No. NC_003839 that the primers were designed to amplify. Repeated attempts to isolate a virus from symptomatic leaves using sap inoculation to Chenopodium amaranticolor Coste & Reyne, C. quinoa Willd, Nicotiana clevelandii Gray, and N. tabacum L. have failed. Repeated testing by double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) of leaves from the plant growing in Clemson consistently produced absorbance values at 405 nm in the range of 0.47 to 0.55 (mean of 8 separate samples per test) for symptomatic and asymptomatic leaves. The range of values for the positive control (ToRSV-G growing in N. clevelandii) was 1.3 to 1.5. The ranges of values for the noninfected controls (noninfected N. clevelandii and leaf tissue from a buddleia known to be infected with AMV and CMV but in which ToRSV or TRSV had never been detected by RT-PCR) were 0.102 to 0.104 and 0.102 to 0.106, respectively. The extraction buffer produced absorbance readings in the range of 0.098 to 0.102. RT-PCR of RNA extracted from other portions of the leaves used in the ELISA consistently amplified the 327-bp product from symptomatic leaves and from the positive control but not from noninfected control tissues. RNA from asymptomatic leaves on the infected plant also produced the 327-bp product in RT-PCR. Isolation of viruses from woody hosts is frequently difficult, and although, we have yet to succeed to confirm the association between the observed symptom and ToRSV, the evidence from PCR and ELISA would indicate ToRSV is present in these plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ToRSV, a member of the genus Nepovirus, in buddleia. References: (1) J. Albouy and J. C. Devergne. Maladies á Virus des Plants Ornementales. INRA Editions, Paris, 1998. (2) J. I. Cooper. Virus Diseases of Trees and Shrubs. 2nd ed. Chapman and Hill, London, 1993. (3) J. R. Edwards and R. G. Christie. Pages 352-353 in: Handbook of Viruses Infecting Legumes. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 1991. (4) C. J. Perkins and R. G. T. Hicks. Plant Pathol. 38:443, 1989.

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