Biotech Updates

NIBGE Identifies New Cotton Leaf Curl Disease Virus

September 3, 2010

Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) is a major problem of cotton in Pakistan as it can destroy 15-20% of the total crop. It is caused by begomo viruses in association with a disease-specific symptom determining satellite (Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite [CLCuMB]) and, in some cases, a non-essential alphasatellite. Scientists at the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) cloned these components from six samples collected from Sindh. The full-length sequence analysis of six begomovirus clones showed that one is an isolate of Cotton leaf curl Kokhran virus (CLCuKV), a virus previously shown to be associated with CLCuD in the Punjab.

Five other clones showed less than 90% nucleotide sequence identity to several known begomoviruses associated with CLCuD. These viruses are the isolates of a newly identified begomovirus, for which scientists propose the name Cotton leaf curl Shahdadpur virus (CLCuShV). Further identification indicated that this virus is actually of recombinant origin and the virus complex causing CLCuD in Sindh is distinct from that in the adjacent Punjab province.

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