During a survey in February 2016, leaf curl disease symptoms were witnessed in Cucurbita maxima plants in Al-Batina commercial farm in Oman. Symptoms exhibited were characteristic of begomovirus infection as leaf curling, yellowing, and color breaking followed by mosaic pattern. The transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of typical twinned geminate typical of Geminate virus particles. Rolling circle amplification (RCA) was employed to characterize the unknown causal agent of C. maxima disease. In molecular identification RCA produced nearly 2.8 and 1.4 kb DNA molecules corresponding to begomovirus and satellite molecules, cloned and sequenced them. In Blast, species demarcation tool and phylogenetic analysis revealed the begomovirus and satellite isolates were determined as Chilli leaf curl virus (ChLCV) and tomato leaf curl betasatellite (ToLCB). In biological analysis by agrobacterium mediated inoculation, ChLCV displayed upward leaf curling and vein swelling symptoms in Nicotiana benthamiana plants; however, in presence of ToLCB enhanced downward leaf curling and crumpling symptoms were revealed. This study provides the first evidence that ChLCV and ToLCB caused leaf curl disease of C. maxima in Oman.
ASJC Scopus subject areas