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Characterization of a tospovirus-like virus isolated from wax gourd



Characterization of a tospovirus-like virus isolated from wax gourd



Plant Protection Bulletin 37(1): 117-131



A virus-like disease was noticed on wax gourd (Benincasa hispida) in central Taiwan in 1992. Symptoms on wax gourd include light green to darken green mottle on leaves with waxless surface, leaf crinkling and tip necrosis. The causal agent was identified as a tospovirus based on host reactions, vector transmission, serology and electron microscopy. Serological tests by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting with polyclonal antibodies to various tospoviruses demonstrated that the virus isolated from wax gourd is serologically closely related to watermelon silver mottle virus (WSMV) and not to tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and impatiens necrosis spot virus (INSV). Although the symptoms on watermelon caused by the virus isolated from wax gourd are different from those by WSMV occurring in Taiwan, their close serologocal relationship and a similar pattern of transmission by the same species of thrip, Thrips palmi, indicate that the virus isolated from wax gourd is a strain of WSMV.

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