Current Status of Begomoviruses Infecting Cultivated Crops and Weeds in Saudi Arabia



Begomoviruses are economically important viruses with ssDNA containing monopartite or bipartite genomes, encapsulated in twinned particles belonging to family Geminiviridae. Currently, a total seven genera are known in the family Geminiviridae, and they are designated as Mastrevirus, Curtovirus, Begomovirus, Topocuvirus, Eragrovirus, Turncurtovirus, and Becurtovirus. They are transmitted by the vector whitefly (Bemisia tabaci). Begomoviruses are known to have satellite molecules known as betasatellites and alphasatellites. The plant virology in Saudi Arabia is new and at infancy stage. Currently, very little information is available at the molecular level about the begomoviruses infecting cultivated and weed crops. The begomovirus infection and disease spread on new hosts as well as new geographic regions are significantly increasing in many new regions in the kingdom, and currently begomovirus-associated disease on multiple crops like Amaranthus plant, beans, Corchorus plant, cucumber, okra, ridge gourd, squash, and tomato has been reported from Saudi Arabia. There is an urgent need to perform more research on the disease spread, epidemiology, as well as molecular characterization of begomoviruses to identify the currently circulating virus isolates as well as possible emergence of new strains with their extended host characteristics in Saudi Arabia. This article provides the current status of major developments on the begomovirus research and future prospects in Saudi Arabia.


Begomovirus infection Saudi Arabia Beans Cucurbits Tomato Weeds 



The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the facility provided by the Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center (KFMRC), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research CenterKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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