Surveys in the chrysanthemum production areas of Brazil and Colombia reveal that weeds are potential reservoirs of chrysanthemum stunt viroid.
The stunting disease, incited by chrysanthemum stunt viroid (CSVd), has become a serious problem in chrysanthemum production areas worldwide. Here we identified 46 weed species from chrysanthemum fields in two producing regions of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The mechanical inoculation of these weeds with a Brazilian CSVd isolate revealed that this viroid was able to infect 17 of these species, in addition to chrysanthemum, tomato and potato. Plants of Oxalis latifolia and chrysanthemum naturally infected with CSVd were found in chrysanthemum fields in Colombia, which is the first CSVd report in that country. Therefore, weeds have the potential to act as reservoirs of CSVd in the field. These results are the first reports of experimental CSVd infection in the following species: Amaranthus viridis, Cardamine bonariensis, Chamaesyce hirta, Conyza bonariensis, Digitaria sanguinalis, Gomphrena globosa, Helianthus annuus, Lupinus polyphyllus, Mirabilis jalapa, Oxalis latifolia, Portulaca oleracea and Catharanthus roseus. The phylogenetic analyses of the CSVd variants identified herein showed three groups with Brazilian CSVd variants distributed in them all, which suggests that Brazilian CSVd isolates may have different origins through successive introductions of infected germplasm of chrysanthemum in Brazil.