Global diversity and distribution of whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses of cotton

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Geminivrus diseases of cotton are on the rise, worldwide, yet few have been studied in adequate detail to permit the implementation of rational approaches to disease control. The rising costs of managing the whitefly vector, coupled to substantial losses caused by geminivirus-incited diseases now hinder cotton production by requiring inputs that are beyond economic feasibility. The requirement for geminivirus disease resistance in numerous cotton cultivars and multiple, diverse geographic cotton production areas of the world presents a new and unique challenge. To meet this need, baseline information concerning the identity, the distribution, and the relevant characteristics of cotton-infecting geminiviruses and virus strains, thereof, are now required. This study addresses this problem by attaining and applying molecular sequence analysis to key regions of the genomes of cotton-infecting geminivirus collected from cotton growing regions of the world. Specifically, we are examining the sequence similarities of the conserved the coat protein or AV1 gene, and the similarities and particular features associated with diagnostic nucleotides found in the LIR/CR that are involved in regulating essential aspects of the disease cycle. This effort represents the first cataloging and mapping of geminivirus identity and distribution, and the first investigation of the breadth of germiniviral relationships, or the 'diversity' of geminiviruses of cotton, worldwide. It seeks to understand relationships between cotton-infecting geminiviruses and of these viruses and other well-characterized or 'reference' geminiviruses from diverse crop and weed species. This data base of molecular and biotic information will serve as the cornerstone for the rational selection of virus species and strains toward developing cotton cultivars with resistance customized to protect against disease caused by geminiviruses relevant to the production area. This approach will also permit the first precise evaluation of the breadth of disease resistance in a cultivar by permitting challenge-inoculation with narrowly and broadly divergent virus genotypes, thereby providing both a predictive capacity for sustainability of disease resistance and a safeguard to achieve long term protection against indigenous and introduced, exotic geminiviruses of cotton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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