First report of Peanut bud necrosis virus infecting bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) in India.
In 2016, approximately 15% of plants showed virus-like symptoms in a 0.6 ha bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) farm at the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Symptomatic plants were stunted with necrosis of growing tips and yellowing and downward cupping of leaves that became thick and leathery in appearance. Because these symptoms were like those produced by orthotospoviruses in vegetable crops, leaves from five symptomatic and five nonsymptomatic plants were initially tested by indirect ELISA using polyclonal antibodies raised against Peanut bud necrosis virus [Groundnut bud necrosis virus] (PBNV). Only samples from symptomatic plants gave positive reaction, suggesting the presence of PBNV. Additional molecular diagnostic assays were performed, which confirmed the presence of the virus. Previously, PBNV was reported on watermelon from India. This is thought to be the first report of natural PBNV infection of bitter gourd and suggests that PBNV may be more widely distributed in cucurbitaceous vegetable crops in India than previously thought.