FIRST RECORD OF VIRUS INFECTION OF BLUE POTATO BUSH LYCIANTHES RANTONNETII
P. Salamon, K. Nemes, K. Salánki, L. Palkovics
In the past two decades numerous woody plants of the family Solanaceae native to South and Central America be- came popular ornamentals in many European countries. These plants are vegetatively propagated and may act as sources of pathogens of new world origin. Lycianthes ranton- netii (syn. Solanum rantonnetii) known as blue potato bush is a symptomless host of viroids (Luigi et al., 2011). In autumn of 2012, a three-year-old bush of L. rantonnettii decorating a home garden in northeastern Hungary exhibited a peculiar yellow-green mosaic on the top leaves. Inoculation of test plants with the extract of diseased leaves caused necrotic lesions on Chenopodium quinoa, mosaic mottling on Nico- tiana tabacum Xanthi-NC and Cucumis sativus, as well as mosaic and leaf narrowing on Capsicum annuum, suggest- ing the presence of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). To con- firm the presence of CMV, total nucleic acid was extracted from symptomatic tobacco leaves and used in RT-PCR with primers designed in the coat protein gene of subgroups I and II (K. Salánki unpublished information; Gellért et al., 2012). A DNA fragment of the expected size of 1030 bp was amplified using subgroup I-specific primers only. The PCR product was cloned and sequenced (GenBank accession No. KC306960). Sequence analysis showed that the CMV strain from L. rantonnettii grouped with subgroup IA and is closely related to CMV-Fny and CMV-Rs with 99% and 100% iden- tity at nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. This is the first record of a viral infection of L. rantonnettii, which is also a new natural host of CMV.