Potato Research

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 151–166 | Cite as

Incidence and Characterization of Potato virus Y in Seed Potatoes in Tunisia

  • Sonia Boukhris-Bouhachem
  • Fattouma Djilani-Khouadja
  • Hatem Fakhfakh
  • Laurent Glais
  • Michel Tribodet
  • Camille KerlanEmail author


Surveys during five consecutive years in four main seed potato-growing areas of Tunisia revealed large differences in Potato virus Y (PVY) incidence. Infection rates at harvest ranged from up to 19% in Cap Bon and in Jendouba, to 31% in Kairouan and 48% in Manouba. However, infection rates were very low across the country in 2003 (1–5%), except in Kairouan, and rather low in 2004 (4–10%). Secondary infections in plants growing from imported seed potatoes were assessed to be 1–6% depending on region and year. Serological analysis of a first set of 90 samples collected in 2004–2005 revealed dominance of the PVYN group (90% of the total number of PVY positives). A second set of 44 isolates from samples collected in 2006 was further analyzed with a combination of serotyping, indexing on tobacco, and RT-PCR tests targeting four genomic regions (5′Ntr/P1, HcPro/P3, CI/NIa, CP). Thirty-five of these 44 isolates were typical PVYNTN isolates, with three recombination junctions in HcPro/P3, CI/NIa, and CP regions, respectively, whereas no recombination junction was identified in the genome of five isolates belonging to the PVYN group. One additional recombinant PVYNTN isolate was recovered from a mixed infection with a PVYO isolate. Only three PVYO isolates were recovered from the samples analyzed.


PVY PVYN PVYNTN PVYO Seed potatoes Tunisia Viruses 



Groupement Interprofessionnel des Legumes (Interprofessional Organization for Vegetables including seed potatoes in Tunisia)


Centro International de la Papa (in Peru)


Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie (in Tunisia)


Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (in France)


Federation Nationale des Producteurs de Plants de Pomme de Terre (in France)



The authors are indebted to T. Baldwin (INRA Agrocampus, Rennes, France) and A.V. Karasev (University of Idaho, Moscow, USA) for careful revision of English, R. Souissi (INRAT, Tunis) for her technical assistance, and J.P. Gauthier (INRA Agrocampus, Rennes, France) for statistical analysis. This research was supported in part by the National Seed Potato Program in Tunisia and GIL (Le Belvédère, Tunis). Special thanks are due to J. Rouze-Jouan and M. Hulle (INRA Agrocampus, Rennes, France), and M. Abdelghani (Centre Technique de la Pomme de Terre, Essaïda, Tunisia).


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Copyright information

© EAPR 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Boukhris-Bouhachem
    • 1
  • Fattouma Djilani-Khouadja
    • 2
  • Hatem Fakhfakh
    • 2
  • Laurent Glais
    • 3
  • Michel Tribodet
    • 3
  • Camille Kerlan
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.INRATLaboratoire de Protection des VégétauxTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et BiotechnologieFaculté des Sciences de TunisTunisTunisia
  3. 3.INRAAgrocampus Rennes BiO3PLe RheuFrance
  4. 4.Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological SciencesUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

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