The Plant Pathology Journal 2012;28(2):123-136.
Published online June 30, 2012.
Begomoviruses and Their Emerging Threats in South Korea: A Review
Mohammad Sajid Khan, Sang He Ji, Se Chul Chun
Diseases caused by begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae, genus Begomovirus) constitute a serious constraint to tropical and sub-tropical agro-ecosystems worldwide. In recent years, they have also introduced in temperate regions of the world where they have great impact and are posing a serious threat to a variety of greenhouse crops. Begomoviral diseases can in extreme cases reduce yields to zero leading to catastrophic losses in agriculture. They are still evolving and pose a serious threat to sustainable agriculture across the world, particularly in tropics and sub-tropics. Till recently, there have been no records on the occurrence of begomoviral disease in South Korea, however, the etiology of other plant viral diseases are known since last century. The first begomovirus infected sample was collected from sweet potato plant in 2003 and since then there has been gradual increase in the begomoviral epidemics specially in tomato and sweet potato crops. So far, 48 begomovirus sequences originating from various plant species have been submitted in public sequence data base from different parts of the country. The rapid emergence of begomoviral epidemics might be with some of the factors like evolution of new variants of the viruses, appearance of efficient vectors, changing cropping systems, introduction of susceptible plant varieties, increase in global trade in agricultural products, intercontinental transportation networks, and changes in global climatic conditions. Another concern might be the emergence of a begomovirus complex and satellite DNA molecules. Thorough understanding of the pathosystems is needed for the designing of effective managements. Efforts should also be made towards the integration of the resistant genes for the development of transgenic plants specially tomato and sweet potato as they have been found to be widely infected in South Korea. There should be efficient surveillance for emergence or incursions of other begomoviruses and biotypes of whitefly. This review discusses the general characteristics of begomoviruses, transmission by their vector B. tabaci with an especial emphasis on the occurrence and distribution of begomoviruses in South Korea, and control measures that must be addressed in order to develop more sustainable management strategies.
Key Words: Begomovirus, recombination, satellites, weed plants, whitefly biotype
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