FIG TREE VIRUSES IN NEW ZEALAND

A. Minafra, M. Chiumenti, G.P. Martelli

Abstract


In late March 2012, cuttings were collected from 11 fig trees growing in Anaura Beach and in a private garden in the vicinity of Gisborne (Bay of Poverty, New Zealand). Each tree apparently belonged to a different cultivar, whose name was unknown to the owners. Due to the late season, symptoms on the leaves were not outstanding. When visible, they consisted of various patterns of mottling resembling very much the symptoms characterizing fig mosaic (Martelli, 2011). Total RNA was extracted from cortical scrapings and subjected to RT-PCR, which was conducted accord- ing to the protocols and using the virus-specific primers routinely utilized in our laboratory (Martelli, 2011 and references therein) for the detection of the following viruses: Fig mosaic virus (FMV), Fig leaf mottle-associated virus 1 (FLMaV-1), Fig leaf mottle-asso- ciated virus 2 (FLMaV-2), Fig mild mottle virus (FMMV), and Fig latent virus 1 (FLV-1). PCR was also carried out for the presence of Fig badnavirus 1 (FBaV-1), using the primers P1s: 5’-GCT GAT CAC AAG AGG CAT GA-3’ and P1as: 5’-TCC TTG TTT CCA CGT TCC TT-3’ designed on the sequence of the 5’ termi- nal portion of the polyprotein encoded by the viral ORF3 (Gen- Bank accession No. JF411989). Amplification products were ob- tained from all samples, most of which proved to be infected by two (e.g. FMV, FBaV-1) or more (e.g. FMV, FBaV-1, FLMaV-1, FMMV) different viruses. FLV-1 was not detected, whereas the most widespread viruses were FMV and FBaV-1. Interestingly, the latter virus was detected in the totality of the samples. Fig mosaic is known to occur in New Zealand (Li and Procter, 1944; Cairns, 2006) but, to the best of our knowledge, there are no records of viruses associated with the disease.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4454/JPP.V95I4SUP.047

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