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First Report of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Identified in Tulbaghia violacea in Florida

K. K. Dey, C. Li, M. C. Sellers, J. McVay, L. Whilby, G. Hodges, and T. R. Smith

June 2019


Tulbaghia violacea Harv., also known as society garlic, belongs to the genus Tulbaghia (Amaryllidaceae). It is diversely used for medicinal, culinary, and ornamental purposes. In June 2018, T. violacea plants from Lake County, FL, with typical tospovirus-like symptoms of chlorotic ring patterns, were submitted to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry (Gainesville, FL) for identification. Representative leaf tissue from four plants tested positive in a serological assay and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Amplicons of the expected size were produced using the tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) nucleocapsid (N) gene primers. They were directly sequenced and deposited in GenBank (MK567883). The 777-bp N gene sequence had 98 to 99% nucleotide identity with the corresponding region of previously described Florida TSWV isolates and 96 to 99% nucleotide identity with all TSWV isolates in GenBank. Epidemics of TSWV occur frequently in numerous crops in Florida, chiefly tomato, pepper, tobacco, and ornamentals. The western flower thrip, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is the most efficient vector of TSWV and has become established in Florida. This is the first report of TSWV infection in T. violacea.


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