Molecular Detection and Identification of Nepoviruses in West Bank-Palestine
Sarah, Mays Moufeed Fathi
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Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) which belongs to the family Vitaceae, globally, it is the oldest crop, while in Palestine considered the second crop after olives. As the vegetative propagation is still widely used, up to 60 viruses host grapevine. The most severe one is Grapevine Fanleaf virus which belongs to the genus Nepovirus and transmitted to the vine mainly by nematodes. This study was aimed to assess the sanitary status of grapevines in Palestine due to the lack of the available current data on its prevalence. Field surveys were conducted in the main vineyards of the West-Bank in Palestine, 80 samples were collected: Hebron (34), Bethlehem (24), Jenin (11), Nablus (7) and Jericho (4), for symptoms observation during the growing seasons 2015 and 2016 to detect GFLV, using biological and molecular tools at An-Najah National University Biotechnology Labs. The surveys revealed the existence of virus related symptoms as observed (Yellowing and deformation, small leaves, yellow spots, deformed canes, abnormal branching with short internodes length, Yellow mosaic symptoms and malformation). The 25 samples that were tested by mechanical inoculation onto herbaceous plants; Nicotiana benthamiana and Nicotiana accidintalis, were failed in isolation of GFLV, even though two samples expressed stunted plant symptom that was appeared only on N. benthamiana , which is not indicative for that virus. By using RT-PCR, none of the tested samples (55) were able to amplify any of GFLV using the virus specific primers, but with a degenerated primers of subgroup A nepoviruses, RT-PCR were able to detect 12 positive sample from different regions Hebron (5), Bethlehem (3), Jericho (2) and Jenin (1) but nothing found in Nablus samples. These results ascertain that nepoviruses were found in our grapevine fields but not of GFLV. That was in accordance of many unreported trials carried in the last decades expecting the absence of GFLV from the Palestinian vines. The results of this study can be as documentary report for the sanitary status of grapevines. The presence of Nepoviruses other than GFLV would open the door for further researches to be conducted for identifying them.