Sweet pepper confirmed as a reservoir host for tomato yellow leaf curl virus by both agro-inoculation and whitefly-mediated inoculation
ABSTRACT Tomato yellow leaf curl (TYLC) is one of the most devastating pathogens affecting tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) worldwide. The disease is caused by a complex of begomovirus species, two of which, Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) and Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), are responsible for epidemics in Southern Spain. TYLCV also has been reported to cause severe damage to common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) crops. Pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants collected from commercial crops were found to be infected by isolates of two TYLCV strains: TYLCV-Mld[ES01/99], an isolate of the mild strain similar to other TYLCVs isolated from tomato crops in Spain, and TYLCV-[Alm], an isolate of the more virulent TYLCV type strain, not previously reported in the Iberian Peninsula. In this work, pepper, Nicotiana benthamiana, common bean, and tomato were tested for susceptibility to TYLCV-Mld[ES01/99]and TYLCV-[Alm] by Agrobacterium tumefaciens infiltration, biolistic bombardment, or Bemisia tabaci inoculation. Results indicate that both strains are able to infect plants of these species, including pepper. This is the first time that infection of pepper plants with TYLCV clones has been shown. Implications of pepper infection for the epidemiology of TYLCV are discussed.