Open Access Research

Molecular characterization of two distinct monopartite begomoviruses infecting tomato in india

Prerna Pandey1, Subhra Mukhopadhya2, Afsar R Naqvi3, Sunil K Mukherjee2, Gyan S Shekhawat1 and Nirupam R Choudhury2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Banasthali University, Banasthali-304020, Rajasthan, India

2 Plant Molecular Biology Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi-110 067, India

3 Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110025, India

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Virology Journal 2010, 7:337  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-337

Published: 23 November 2010



Tomato leaf curl viruses, which are the members of the genus Begomovirus, have emerged as devastating pathogens worldwide causing huge economic losses and threatening production of crops like cassava, cotton, grain legumes and vegetables. Even though the ToLCV isolates from Northern India have been shown to possess bipartite genome (designated as DNA A and DNA B), those from Australia, Taiwan and Southern India have a single genomic component (DNA A). We describe here the genetic diversity of two isolates of monopartite Tomato leaf curl virus infecting tomato in two extreme regions (North and South) of Indian subcontinent.


The rolling circle amplification (RCA) products obtained from symptomatic samples were digested, cloned and sequenced. The complete DNA sequence of two Tomato leaf curl virus isolates identified as ToLCV-CTM (India, New Delhi, 2005) and ToLCVK3/K5 (India, Kerala, 2008) are reported here. These isolates had the characteristic features of Begomovirus genome organization with six conserved open reading frames (ORFs). The ToLCV-K3 and ToLCV-K5 isolates may be the strains of the same virus since they show sequence homology of 97% over their entire genome. This, according to the guidelines established by the ICTV Geminiviridae Study-Group is higher than threshold (92%) for delineation of different viral variants and hence single, average value has been assigned for all their analyses presented here. The ToLCV-CTM and ToLCV-K3/K5 viruses were found to be monopartite, as neither DNA-B component nor betasatellite associated with begomovirus species, were detected. The complete nucleotide sequence of DNA-A genome of CTM exhibited highest sequence homology (88%) to Croton yellow vein mosaic virus (AJ507777), and of isolates K3/K5 (88.5%) to Tomato leaf curl Pakistan virus (DQ116884). This is less than the threshold value for demarcation of species in the genus Begomovirus.


K3/K5 and CTM are considered to be novel isolates of Tomato leaf curl virus. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic study indicate that these two ToLCV isolates might have evolved by recombination between viruses related to two or more viral ancestors. The existence of different ToLCV isolates having high genome diversity in India poses a threat to the tomato production in the Asian continent.