First report of a cilevirus associated with green ringspot on senescent hibiscus leaves in Tampa, Florida.
Recently, natural infection of hibiscus by Citrus leprosis virus C2 (CiLV-C2) was reported in Colombia that produced green ring lesions with internal chlorotic spots in a senescing H. rosa-sinensis leaf. In August 2016, green ringspot symptoms in senescing H. rosa-sinensis leaves were observed in Tampa, Florida, USA. Symptomatic and asymptomatic leaves were collected from five H. rosa-sinensis plants. Based on the results of reverse-transcription PCR and BLAST and phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide sequences, the pathogen identified from symptomatic hibiscus leaves was Hibiscus-infecting cilevirus (HiCV). This is thought to be the first report of HiCV in Florida and the mainland USA. Brevipalpus yothersi, the known vector of the cilevirus CiLV-C and CiLV-C2, is also present in Florida. This suggests HiCV has the potential to spread throughout the state.