, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 199-209
Date: 20 Oct 2007

Identification and characterization of a tospovirus causing chlorotic ringspots on Phalaenopsis orchids

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Abstract

A putative virus-induced disease showing chlorotic ringspots on leaves of Phalaenopsis orchids has been observed in Taiwan for several years. A virus culture, 91-orchid-1, isolated from a Phalaenopsis orchid bearing chlorotic ringspot symptoms was established in Chenopodium quinoa and Nicotiana benthamiana, and characterized serologically and biologically. The virus reacted slightly with the antiserum of Watermelon silver mottle virus (WSMoV) but not with those of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) and Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV). Isometric particles measuring about 70–100 nm were observed. Inoculation with isolated virus was conducted to confirm that 91-orchid-1 is the causal agent of chlorotic ringspot disease of Phalaenopsis orchids. To determine the taxonomic relationships of the virus, the conserved region of L RNA and the complete nucleocapsid gene (N gene) were cloned and sequenced. The sequence of conserved region of L RNA shares 83.8, 82.5, 64.4 and 64.9% nucleotide identities and 96.5, 97.7, 67.3 and 67.6% amino acid identities with those of Peanut bud necrosis virus (PBNV), WSMoV, TSWV and INSV, respectively, indicating that 91-orchid-1 is a tospovirus related to WSMoV. The complete nucleotide sequence of the N gene determined from a cDNA clone was found to be 828 nucleotides long encoding 275 amino acids. Sequence analyses of the N gene showed that 91-orchid-1 is an isolate of Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV) which has been reported to infect tomato and capsicum plants in Australia and Thailand. 91-orchid-1 is therefore designated as CaCV-Ph. To our knowledge, this is the first formal report of a tospovirus infecting Phalaenopsis orchids.