, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 117-126
Date: 14 Sep 2011

Biological and Molecular Characterization of Two Distinct Tomato Strains of Cucumber mosaic virus Based on Complete RNA-3 Genome and Subgroup Specific Diagnosis

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Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is one of the most important viral pathogen infecting several plant species in India. Five isolates of CMV obtained from cucumber, muskmelon, tobacco and tomato from distinct geographical locations in India were analysed based on host-reactions and genome sequence. The majority of the isolates were very similar and only two isolates, Tfr-In and Tss-In showed distinct symptoms in tomato and high sequence diversity (77.8%) in coat protein (CP) gene. Tfr-In was isolated from tomato fruit showing grey patches in Aurangabad and Tss-In from tomato plant showing shoe-string symptoms in New Delhi. The RNA-3 genomes of Tfr-In (2,214 nt; JF279606), shared only 70.3% nucleotide sequence identity with Tss-In (2,178 nt; JF279605. The complete RNA-3 genome of Tss-In and Tfr-In were compared with that of 65 CMV isolates reported from various plants of the world, which formed four distinct subclades-IA, -IB, -IC and -II. The Tfr-In isolate clustered with the CMV subgroup-IB and Tss-In with the subgroup-II. The comparison of the RNA-3 sequence of both the isolates revealed maximum heterogeneity in the intergenic region (IR). Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based detection of CMV subgroup-I and -II was developed designing primers from flanking IR region. The specificity of the RT-PCR detection was confirmed using Tfr-In and Tss-In representing subgroup-I and -II and validated with field samples of tomato, cucurbits and chilli. This is the first report of complete RNA-3 of subgroup-IB CMV causing grey patches in tomato fruit and subgroup-II CMV causing shoe-string symptoms in tomato in India. The present and previous studies together showed that tomato in India was affected by multiple strains of CMV.