Knowledge for Development

Begomovirus disease complex: emerging threat to vegetable production systems of Africa


Date: 09/03/2015


Begomoviruses are transmitted by the whitefly vector Bemisia tabaci and cause extreme reductions in the yields of a number of economically important vegetables such as tomato, pepper and okra in West and Central Africa. In this paper, Walter N. Leke, IIATA, Nigeria, and colleagues describe how they sequenced the viral genomes from various crops and identified two previously known begomovirus species (cotton leaf curl Gezira virus and okra yellow crinkle virus), a new recombinant begomovirus species (okra leaf curl Cameroon virus), a betasatellite (cotton leaf curl Gezira betasatellite) and new alphasatellites. Tomato and pepper plants with leaf curling were shown to contain isolates of new begomoviruses, collectively referred to as West African tomato-infecting begomoviruses (WATIBs), new alphasatellites and betasatellites. They found a close relationship between the begomoviruses that infect pepper and tomato and the weed Ageratum conyzoides, and the detection of the same alphasatellite in them supports the idea that weeds are important reservoirs for begomoviruses and their satellites.    

(Agriculture & Food Security, 21/01/2015)

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