Transmission of cotton leaf curl disease: answer to a long-standing question
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Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) has been a major constraint to cotton production across Pakistan and northwestern India since the early 1990s. The disease is caused by a number of begomoviruses, including Cotton leaf curl Multan virus (CLCuMuV), which associate with a specific host range and symptom determining betasatellite known as Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite (CLCuMuB). Bemisia tabaci is a complex of cryptic species that consists of numerous (> 44) morphologically indistinguishable and, at least partially, reproductively isolated species. CLCuD has recently been introduced into parts of China but has not, at least so far, become a problem in the major cotton regions. The disease in China has been shown to be caused by CLCuMuV with CLCuMuB, which is believed to have been introduced from South Asia in ornamental plants. To understand the basis for this lack of spread of CLCuD into the cotton-growing areas of China, Pan et al. (Phytopathology 108:1172–1183, 2018) investigated the transmission of CLCuMuV/CLCuMuB by B. tabaci. The study showed that, of the four cryptic B. tabaci species investigated, only the cryptic species Asia II 1 was able to efficiently transmit CLCuMuV/CLCuMuB. Significantly, Asia II 1 is not present in the major cotton-growing regions of China. The results of Pan et al. (Phytopathology 108:1172–1183, 2018) are discussed with particular emphasis on the situation of CLCuD in Pakistan and northwestern India, which differs significantly from the situation in China.
KeywordsBegomovirus Betasatellite Bemisia tabaci Vector Asia II 1
RWB wrote the first draft of the manuscript which was edited my MM. Both authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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