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Planta Daninha

Print version ISSN 0100-8358On-line version ISSN 1806-9681

Abstract

AGUIAR, R.W.S. et al. Evaluation of Weeds as Virus Reservoirs in Watermelon Crops. Planta daninha [online]. 2018, vol.36, e018171593.  Epub May 28, 2018. ISSN 0100-8358.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0100-83582018360100032.

Watermelon is one of the most important vegetable crops in Brazil, which is grouped among the greatest producers worldwide. Viruses stand out among the most damaging disease agents, which can drastically reduce fruit production. In this context, weeds present in the field can also interfere in crop production, acting as reservoirs for viruses. Thus, this study aimed to investigate virus occurrence in weeds at the main watermelon-growing regions in the State of Tocantins. Viruses identification (e.g. potyviruses: Watermelon mosaic virus - WMV; Papaya ring spot virus - type watermelon -PRSV-W; Zucchini yellow mosaic virus- ZYMV; the cucumovirus Cucumber mosaic virus - CMV, and the orthotospovirus Zucchini lethal chlorosis virus - ZLCV) infecting weeds was performed by serology and confirmed by RT-PCR tests. Serological and molecular test results indicate that Amaranthus spinosus, Nicandra physaloides, Physalis angulata and Heliotropium indicum were infected by at least one virus species. The highest infection rate was represented by ZYMV (52.7%), followed by PRSV-W (22.2%); CMV, WMV, and ZLCV that showed the same infection rate (8.3%) each. Plants of P. angulata were infected by all five viruses, singly or in mixed infection, and represented 50% of the total number of infected samples. The highest virus infection rates, 50% and 44.4%, occurred in weeds collected at Lagoa da Confusão and Formoso do Araguaia, respectively. The results on occurrence and distribution of viruses infecting weeds in watermelon commercial plantations in the State of Tocantins provide important information about the role of weeds as virus reservoirs contribute to the knowledge of the epidemiology of these diseases, and enable a proper weed management aiming at reducing the secondary spreading control of viruses by insect vectors.

Keywords : Citrullus lanatus; alternative hosts; Potyvirus; Cucumovirus; Orthotospovirus.

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