Sentinel plot surveillance of cotton leaf curl disease in Pakistan- a case study at the cultivated cotton-wild host plant interface

Muhammad Javed Iqbal, Muhammad Zia-Ur-Rehman, Muhammad Ilyas, Usman Hameed, Hans Werner Herrmann, Nomatter Chingandu, Muhammad Tariq Manzoor, Muhammad Saleem Haider, Judith K. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A sentinel plot case study was carried out to identify and map the distribution of begomovirus-betasatellite complexes in sentinel plots and commercial cotton fields over a four-year period using molecular and high-throughput DNA ‘discovery’ sequencing approaches. Samples were collected from 15 study sites in the two major cotton-producing areas of Pakistan. Whitefly- and leafhopper-transmitted geminiviruses were detected in previously unreported host plant species and locations. The most prevalent begomovirus was cotton leaf curl Kokhran virus-Burewala (CLCuKoV-Bu). Unexpectedly, a recently recognized recombinant, cotton leaf curl Multan virus-Rajasthan (CLCuMuV-Ra) was prevalent in five of 15 sites. cotton leaf curl Alabad virus (CLCuAlV) and cotton leaf curl Kokhran virus-Kokhran, ‘core’ members of CLCuD-begomoviruses that co-occurred with CLCuMuV in the ‘Multan’ epidemic were detected in one of 15 sentinel plots. Also identified were chickpea chlorotic dwarf virus and ‘non-core’ CLCuD-begomoviruses, okra enation leaf curl virus, squash leaf curl virus, and tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus. Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite (CLCuMuB) was the most prevalent CLCuD-betasatellite, and less commonly, two ‘non-core’ betasatellites. Recombination analysis revealed previously uncharacterized recombinants among helper virus-betasatellite complexes consisting of CLCuKoV, CLCuMuV, CLCuAlV and CLCuMuB. Population analyses provided early evidence for CLCuMuV-Ra expansion and displacement of CLCuKoV-Bu in India and Pakistan from 2012-2017. Identification of ‘core’ and non-core CLCuD-species/strains in cotton and other potential reservoirs, and presence of the now predominant CLCuMuV-Ra strain are indicative of ongoing diversification. Investigating the phylodynamics of geminivirus emergence in cotton-vegetable cropping systems offers an opportunity to understand the driving forces underlying disease outbreaks and reconcile viral evolution with epidemiological relationships that also capture pathogen population shifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number199144
JournalVirus Research
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Geminiviridae
  • begomoviruses
  • cotton leaf curl disease
  • sentinel plot case study
  • whitefly vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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