OKRA ENATION LEAF CURL VIRUS IN PAPAYA FROM IRAN DISPLAYING SEVERE LEAF CURL SYMPTOMS
K. Bananej, S. Kraberger, A. Varsani
During a survey of the Bahoo-Kalat and Zar-Abad areas of Iran in February 2010, papaya plants were found with severe leaf curling and vein swelling. A begomovirus (family Geminiviridae) was suspected of being responsible for the disease, so begomovirus-specific degenerate primers and PCR on total DNA were used to obtain amplicons. Based on the sequence of these amplicons, abutting primers were designed to recover the complete begomovirus from seven PCR positive papaya plants. Seven distinct begomovirus molecules (2746 nt each) were recovered that share 85.5-91.6% genome-wide sequence identity with Okra enation leaf curl virus (OELCuV) isolates. Phylogenetic analyses with available OELCuV sequences support the identification of the papaya-infecting begomovirus from Iran as an isolate of OELCuV. To our knowledge this is the first report of a begomovirus infecting papaya in Iran and the first record of papaya as host of OELCuV.