The cassava mosaic geminiviruses occurring in Uganda following the 1990s epidemic of severe cassava mosaic disease

Authors

  • P SSERUWAGI,

    Corresponding author
    1. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Centre, P O Box 7878, Kampala, Uganda
    2. School of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, P O Box 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
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  • M E C REY,

    1. School of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, P O Box 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
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  • J K BROWN,

    1. Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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  • J P LEGG

    1. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Centre, P O Box 7878, Kampala, Uganda
    2. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
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*Corresponding Author E-mail: cmd@iitaesarc.co.ug

Summary

The cassava mosaic geminiviruses (CMGs) isolated from cassava plants expressing mild and severe symptoms of cassava mosaic disease (CMD) in 2002 in Uganda were investigated using the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) molecular techniques and DNA sequencing. Two previously described cassava mosaic geminiviruses: African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) said East African cassava mosaic virus - Uganda variant (EACMV-UG2) were detected in Uganda. The RFLP technique distinguished two polymorphic variants of ACMV (ACMV-UG1 and ACMV-UG2) and three of EACMV-UG2 (EACMV-UG2[1], EACMV-UG2[2] and EACMV-UG2[3]). ACMV-UG1 produced the fragments predicted for the published sequences of ACMV-[KE]/UGMld/ UGSvr, while ACMV-UG2, which produced the RFLP fragments predicted for the West African ACMV isolates ACMV-[NG], ACMV-[CM], ACMV-[CM/DO2] and ACMV-[CI], was shown to be ACMV-UGMld/UGSvr after DNA sequencing. EACMV-UG2[1] produced the RFLP fragments predicted for the published sequences of EACMV-UG2/UG2Mld/UG2Svr. However, both EACMV-UG2[2] and EACMV-UG2[3], which produced East African cassava mosaic vzras-[Tanzania]-like polymorphic fragments with RFLP analysis, were confirmed to be isolates of EACMV-UG2 after DNA sequencing. Thus, this study emphasises the importance of DNA sequence analysis for the identification of CMG isolates. EACMV-UG2 was the predominant virus and occurred in all the surveyed regions. It was detected in 73% of the severely and 53% of the mildly diseased plants, while ACMV was less widespread and occurred most frequently in the mildly diseased plants (in 27% of these plants). Mixed infections of ACMV and EACMV-UG2 were detected in only 18% of the field samples. Unlike previously reported results the mixed infection occurred almost equally in plants exhibiting mild or severe disease symptoms (21% and 16%, respectively). The increasing frequency of mild forms of EACMV-UG2 together with the continued occurrence of severe forms in the field warrants further studies of virus-virus and virus-host interactions.

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