Identification and characterization of citrus chlorotic spot virus, a new dichorhavirus associated with citrus leprosis-like symptoms.
Local chlorotic spots resembling early lesions characteristic of citrus leprosis (CL) were observed in leaves of two sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L.) trees in Teresina, State of Piauí, Brazil, in early 2017. However, despite the similarities, these spots were generally larger than those of a typical CL and showed rare or no necrosis symptoms. In symptomatic tissues, transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of viroplasms in the nuclei of the infected parenchymal cells and rod-shaped particles with an average size of approximately 40×100 nm, resembling those typically observed during infection by dichorhaviruses. A bipartite genome of the putative novel virus, tentatively named citrus chlorotic spot virus (CiCSV) (RNA1=6,518 nucleotides [nt] and RNA2=5,987 nt), revealed the highest nucleotide sequence identity values with the dichorhaviruses coffee ringspot virus strain Lavras (73.8%), citrus leprosis virus N strain Ibi1 (58.6%), and orchid fleck virus strain So (56.9%). In addition to citrus, CiCSV was also found in local chlorotic lesions on leaves of the ornamental plant beach hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum (L.) Fryxell). Morphological characterization of mites recovered from the infected plants revealed at least two different types of Brevipalpus. One of them corresponds to Brevipalpus yothersi. The other is slightly different from B. yothersi mites but comprises traits that possibly place it as another species. A mix of the two mite types collected on beach hibiscus successfully transmitted CiCSV to arabidopsis plants but additional work is required to verify whether both types of flat mite may act as viral vectors. The current study reveals a newly described dichorhavirus associated with a citrus disease in the northeastern region of Brazil.