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First report of Beet western yellows virus infecting Crocus sativus in China.

Zheng, H. Y. ; Wu, X. Y. ; Han, K. L. ; Chen, Z. Q. ; Song, X. J. ; Peng, J. J. ; Lu, Y. W. ; Lin, L. ; Chen, J. P. ; Yan, F. ; Wu, X. Y. ; Han, K. L.

Plant Disease 2018 Vol 102 No. 7 pp. 1471;


Between January and March each year from 2014 to 2016, saffron (Crocus sativus) plants showing typical symptoms of a virus disease (yellow spots or stripes on the leaves, and yellow dwarfing symptoms with leaf tip death) were observed in Qingtian county, one of the main saffron-producing areas in Zhejiang Province, China. Negatively stained sap from two symptomatic saffron plants both had virions with the morphology and dimensions of potyvirus particles, and electron microscopy of thin sections revealed long flexuous inclusion bodies in the cytoplasm of infected cells. In addition, isometric virus particles with a diameter ∼25-30 nm could also be observed in both samples, and these were particularly conspicuous in phloem parenchyma cells, where they formed crystalline arrays. RT-PCR results showed that the saffron plants in Qingtian county were coinfected by Bean yellow mosaic virus (BYMV) and Beet western yellows virus (BWYV). BWYV has been reported to infect many dictotyledonous plants, including Beta vulgaris, Raphanus sativus and many common weed species. This is thought to be the first report of BWYV in C. sativus, or any other monocotyledonous plant.