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A novel synthetic quantification standard including virus and internal report targets: application for the detection and quantification of emerging begomoviruses on tomato

Frédéric Péréfarres, Murielle Hoareau, Frédéric Chiroleu, Bernard Reynaud, Jacques Dintinger and Jean-Michel Lett*

Author Affiliations

CIRAD, UMR PVBMT CIRAD-Université de la Réunion, Pôle de protection des plantes, 7 chemin de l'IRAT, 97410 Saint Pierre, Ile de la Réunion, France

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:389  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-389

Published: 5 August 2011



Begomovirus is a genus of phytopathogenic single-stranded DNA viruses, transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. This genus includes emerging and economically significant viruses such as those associated with Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Disease, for which diagnostic tools are needed to prevent dispersion and new introductions. Five real-time PCRs with an internal tomato reporter gene were developed for accurate detection and quantification of monopartite begomoviruses, including two strains of the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV; Mld and IL strains), the Tomato leaf curl Comoros virus-like viruses (ToLCKMV-like viruses) and the two molecules of the bipartite Potato yellow mosaic virus. These diagnostic tools have a unique standard quantification, comprising the targeted viral and internal report amplicons. These duplex real-time PCRs were applied to artificially inoculated plants to monitor and compare their viral development.


Real-time PCRs were optimized for accurate detection and quantification over a range of 2 × 109 to 2 × 103 copies of genomic viral DNA/μL for TYLCV-Mld, TYLCV-IL and PYMV-B and 2 × 108 to 2 × 103 copies of genomic viral DNA/μL for PYMV-A and ToLCKMV-like viruses. These real-time PCRs were applied to artificially inoculated plants and viral loads were compared at 10, 20 and 30 days post-inoculation. Different patterns of viral accumulation were observed between the bipartite and the monopartite begomoviruses. Interestingly, PYMV accumulated more viral DNA at each date for both genomic components compared to all the monopartite viruses. Also, PYMV reached its highest viral load at 10 dpi contrary to the other viruses (20 dpi). The accumulation kinetics of the two strains of emergent TYLCV differed from the ToLCKMV-like viruses in the higher quantities of viral DNA produced in the early phase of the infection and in the shorter time to reach this peak viral load.


To detect and quantify a wide range of begomoviruses, five duplex real-time PCRs were developed in association with a novel strategy for the quantification standard. These assays should be of a great interest for breeding programs and epidemiological surveys to monitor viral populations.