DNA of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), a geminivirus transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, was amplified from squashes of infected tomato plants and of viruliferous vectors using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Samples of infected tissues as small as 1 mm2 were squashed onto a nylon membrane. A 1 x 2 mm strip containing the squash was introduced into a 25 μl PCR reaction mix. The reaction products were subjected to gel electrophoresis, blotted and hybridized with a radiolabeled virus-specific DNA probe. TYLCV DNA was amplified from squashes of leaves, roots, and stem of infected tomato and from individual viruliferous whiteflies. The same squash could be used several times to amplify different virus DNA fragments with various sets of primers. Thus plant and insect squashes can be used as templates for the amplification of geminiviral DNA with no need to prepare tissue extracts or purify nucleic acids. The squash-PCR procedure was applied to study whitefly transmission of TYLCV. Tomato plants were inoculated by placing a single viruliferous insect in the center of a young leaflet. In some plants TYLCV DNA was detected at the site of inoculation as early as 5 min after the beginning of the access feeding and in all plants after 30 min. The squash-PCR procedure also was applied to the study of TYLCV acquisition by the insect vector. TYLCV DNA was detected in the head of whiteflies as early as 5 min after the beginning of the access feeding on infected tomato plants. Viral DNA was detected in the thorax after 10 min and in the abdomen after 25 min.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by grant 95-168 from The US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF).
- Bemisia tabaci
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science