Distribution and Genetic Variability of Whitefly-Transmitted Geminiviruses of Cotton
AuthorBrown, J. K.
AffiliationDepartment of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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AbstractWhitefly-transmitted geminiviruses (subgroup III, Geminiviridae) are emerging viral pathogens of cotton, worldwide. Virtually nothing is known about the genetic variability, biological characteristics, or the molecular epidemiology of these new virus pathogens of cotton. The core region (550bp) of the geminiviral coat protein gene was examined as a potentially informative molecular marker by which to identify and track the global distribution of WFT geminiviruses of cotton. This is an essential step toward assessing the risks that emerging viruses pose to cotton production efforts. Preliminary analyses of geminivirus isolates from North America, Central America and the Caribbean Basin, and Sudan indicate that the core region of the coat protein gene permits predictions about relationships between virus isolates from cotton, based on subgeographical and major geographical origins, and has potential for distinguishing between geminiviral quasi-species and virus strains, thereof Through these efforts, a database of geminivirus coat protein gene sequences has been established to permit identification of additional isolates from cotton, and to facilitate the tracking of WFT geminiviruses for molecular epidemiological and subsequent risk assessment objectives. Using the latter information, it will become possible to identify the most important geminiviruses against which disease resistance efforts should be directed. Further, the availability of a broad suite of cotton geminivirus isolates from both Eastern and Western Hemispheres will permit assessment of cotton germplasm and/or genetically engineered lines for virus-specific and/or broad spectrum disease resistance for the first time.
Series/Report no.Series P-103