, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 995-1005

Replication of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) DNA in agroinoculated leaf discs from selected tomato genotypes

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The leaf disc agroinoculation system was applied to study tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) replication in explants from susceptible and resistant tomato genotypes. This system was also evaluated as a potential selection tool in breeding programmes for TYLCV resistance. Leaf discs were incubated with a head-to-tail dimer of the TYLCV genome cloned into the Ti plasmid ofAgrobacterium tumefaciens. In leaf discs from susceptible cultivars (Lycopersicon esculentum) TYLCV single-stranded genomic DNA and its double-stranded DNA forms appeared within 2–5 days after inoculation. Whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) efficiently transmitted the TYLCV disease to tomato test plants following acquisition feeding on agroinoculated tomato leaf discs. This indicates that infective viral particles have been produced and have reached the phloem cells of the explant where they can be acquired by the insects. Plants regenerated from agroinfected leaf discs of sensitive tomato cultivars exhibited disease symptoms and contained TYLCV DNA concentrations similar to those present in field-infected tomato plants, indicating that TYLCV can move out from the leaf disc into the regenerating plant. Leaf discs from accessions of the wild tomato species immune to whitefly-mediated inoculation,L. chilense LA1969 andL. hirsutum LA1777, did not support TYLCV DNA replication. Leaf discs from plants tolerant to TYLCV issued from breeding programmes behaved like leaf discs from susceptible cultivars.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Field and Vegetable Crops