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In September 2009, thirty plantlets of Solanum jasminoides were received from a commercial nursery in Upper Austria. The material originated from a breeding company in Germany for growing-on and propagating before reselling. The plantlets did not show any symptoms of a disease and were routinely tested for Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd). Leaf samples were randomly taken from several plantlets and total RNA was extracted with a commercial RNA extraction kit (RNeasy Plant Mini Kit, Qiagen), according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A one-step reverse transcription (RT)-PCR (Qiagen) was performed for the pospiviroid generic detection using Pospi1 primers (Verhoeven et al., 2004). In parallel a RT-PCR was carried out for the detection of PSTVd with the primers published by Shamoul et al. (1997). The generic pospiviroid RT-PCR yielded an amplicon of expected size. However, no PCR product was obtained for PSTVd.

Sequencing of the Pospi1 amplicon (partial sequence) showed a 97% identity with those of two Citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd) isolates from S. jasminoides (GenBank Accession Nos. AM920649 and AM774357). Total RNA was further tested with specific primers to CEVd (Önelge, 1997) and the full genome length (374 bp) was sequenced (GU300810), which exhibited 98% identity with those CEVd isolates previously mentioned. The mismatches were on four positions: an insertion at base 49 and substitutions at bases 72, 73 and 131 compared to AM920649 sequence; and substitutions at the positions 73, 131, 316 and 318 compared to the AM774357 sequence. This is the first report of CEVd on S. jasminoides in Austria, although this pathogen had been already described occurring in S. jasminoides in other European countries (Verhoeven et al., 2008). Results suggest the potential risk of symptomless infection of ornamental Solanaceae by CEVd as a source of infection for crop plants, and the urgency of measures to be taken to control disease spread.

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. References

We would like to thank Mr. Ko Verhoeven (PPS, NL) for the valuable comments and help in the sequence interpretation.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. References
  • Önelge N, 1997. Direct nucleotide sequencing of Citrus exocortis viroid (CEV). Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry 21, 41922.
  • Shamoul AM, Hadidi A, Zhu SF, Singh PR, Sagredo B, 1997. Sensitive detection of potato spindle tuber viroid using RT-PCR and identification of a viroid variant naturally infecting pepino plants. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 19, 8996.
  • Verhoeven JThJ, Jansen CCC, Willemen TM, Kox LFF, Owens RA, Roenhorst JW, 2004. Natural infections of tomato by Citrus exocortis viroid, Columnea latent viroid, Potato spindle tuber viroid and Tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid. European Journal of Plant Pathology 110, 82331.
  • Verhoeven JThJ, Jansen CCC, Roenhorst JW, Steyer S, Schwind N, Wassenegger M, 2008. First report of Solanum jasminoides infected by Citrus exocortis viroid in Germany and the Netherlands and Tomato apical stunt viroid in Belgium and Germany. Plant Disease 92, 873.