PRESENCE OF FIG FLECKASSOCIATED VIRUS IN FIG TREES IN IRAN
G. Nouri-Ale Agha, F. Rakhshandehroo, H.R. Zamanizadeh, T. Elbeaino
Fig fleck-associated virus (FFkaV) is a putative member of the genus Maculavirus, family Tymoviridae (Elbeaino et al., 2011). FFkaV occurs in field-grown fig trees with an incidence of 20% in Mediterranean countries including Albania, Algeria, Italy, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia (Elbeaino et al., 2011). In a survey for FFkaV in the major fig-growing regions of Alburz province of Iran between April 2011 and March 2012, leaf samples from fig trees showing symptoms typical of fig mosaic disease were collected and tested for the presence of FFKaV by RT-PCR using total RNA and specific primers d8-s 5'-TCAATCCCAAGGTGAAG-3' and d8-a 5'-ACACCGGTCAATGAGGGAGTC-3' designed by Elbeaino and co-workers in the RNAdependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. The expected RT-PCR product size (270 bp) was amplified from two of the 13 symptomatic leaf samples that were collected from the five districts surveyed. The RT-PCR product derived from isolates A25 and A26 was purified and directly sequenced. The corresponding sequence of the partial RdRp gene was deposited in GenBank under accession Nos. KC331992 and KC331993, respectively. Sequence comparison of the partial RdRP gene revealed that the Iranian FFkaV isolates A25 and A26 shared 91% and 93% nucleotide and amino acid identities, respectively, with a FFkaV isolate from Italy (accession No. FM200426). To our knowledge, this is the first report of FFkaV in fig trees in Iran. Further surveys of FFkaV incidence and distribution in the region as well as of impact on crop yield are in progress.