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Seed Transmission of Citrus leaf botch virus: Implications in Quarantine and Certification Programs

    Authors and Affiliations
    • J. Guerri
    • J. A. Pina
    • M. C. Vives
    • L. Navarro
    • P. Moreno , Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), 46113 Moncada, Valencia, Spain

      Citrus leaf blotch virus (CLBV) was purified and characterized from a Nagami kumquat (Fortunella margarita (Lour.) Swingle), showing bud union crease when propagated on Troyer citrange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.) (2). The complete nucleotide sequence of its genomic RNA was determined (4), and biological and molecular diagnosis methods were developed (1,3). CLBV, detected in several citrus cultivars from Australia, the United States (Florida and California), Japan, and Spain is usually associated with bud union crease on citrange or citumelo (C. paradisi (Macfad.) × P. trifoliata). The economic importance of CLBV for the citrus industry is presently unknown since its incidence in different citrus areas has not been evaluated, and its actual involvement in causing bud union crease on trifoliate rootstocks has not yet been proved. To assess seed transmissibility of this virus, 120 to 210 seeds from CLBV-infected Troyer citrange, Nagami kumquat, or sour orange (Citrus aurantium L.) plants were grown in a greenhouse. Individual 4-month-old seedlings were analyzed for CLBV by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and infection was confirmed by biological indexing on Dweet tangor (C. tangerina Hort. ex Tanaka × C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck) when seedlings were approximately 18 months old. Seed transmission was found in 2.50, 2.52, and 2.46% of the citrange, kumquat, and sour orange seedlings, respectively. This finding indicates that control of CLBV spread during citrus propagation will require, not only virus-free buds, but also rootstock seedlings that originate from CLBV-free seed source trees. Because CLBV is seed transmissible, regulations of citrus certification programs may need to be changed to include increased control of seed source trees. Also, international regulations for citrus seed movement likely will have to be augmented to include a phytosanitary certification indicating that seeds have been collected from CLBV-free trees.

      References: (1) L. Galipienso et al. Plant Pathol. 49:308, 2000. (2) L. Galipienso et al. Arch. Virol. 146:357, 2001. (3) L. Galipienso et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 110:175,2004. (4) M. C. Vives et al. Virology 287:225, 2001.