Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Relative incidence, spatial distribution and genetic diversity of cucurbit viruses in eastern Spain.

Abstract

Viral diseases that could cause important economic losses often affect cucurbits, but only limited information on the incidence and spatial distribution of specific viruses is currently available. During the 2005 and 2006 growing seasons, systematic surveys were carried out in open field melon (Cucumis melo), squash and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) crops of the Spanish Community of Valencia (eastern Spain), where several counties have a long standing tradition of cucurbit cultivation and production. Surveyed fields were chosen with no previous information as to their sanitation status, and samples were taken from plants that showed virus-like symptoms. Samples were analysed using molecular hybridisation to detect Beet pseudo-yellows virus (BPYV), Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus (CABYV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), Cucumber vein yellowing virus (CVYV), Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV), Melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV), Papaya ring spot virus (PRSV), Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). We collected 1767 samples from 122 independent field plots; out of these, approximately 94% of the samples were infected by at least one of these viruses. Percentages for the more frequently detected viruses were 35.8%, 27.0%, 16.5% and 7.2% for CABYV, WMV, PRSV and ZYMV, respectively, and significant deviations were found on the frequency distributions based on either the area or the host sampled. The number of multiple infections was high (average 36%), particularly for squash (more than 57%), with the most frequent combination being WMV+PRSV (12%) followed by WMV+CABYV (10%). Sequencing of WMV complementary DNA suggested that 'emerging' isolates have replaced the 'classic' ones, as described in southern regions of France, leading us to believe that cucurbit cultivation could be severely affected by these new, emerging isolates.