Surveys on tomato-infecting begomoviruses and Bemisia tabaci in Morocco
In Morocco, the first outbreaks of tomato yellow leaf curl disease (EPPO A2 List) were observed in 1997-1998 causing severe yield losses particularly in the regions of El Jadida (centre), Agadir (south) and Berkane (north-east). Both Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV, Begomovirus) and Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV, Begomovirus) were detected in Morocco. In 1999/2002, surveys were conducted in 32 tomato fields and glasshouses for the presence of tomato-infecting begomoviruses and Bemisia tabaci biotypes. Leaf samples were collected from tomato plants showing symptoms of leaf curling or reduced leaf size, and tested (PCR, sequencing). Only TYLCV and TYLCSV were detected in collected samples, no other begomovirus was found. Two distinct strains of TYLCV were detected, suggesting that at least two separate introductions of this virus occurred in Morocco. Infections of TYLCV and TYLCSV were unevenly distributed throughout Morocco. Infection levels were high in the south-west (where B. tabaci is present all-year round), moderate in the north-east and low in the north-west and north-centre. B. tabaci biotype Q was found throughout the country whereas biotype B was only found in the north-east.
Tahiri A, Sekkat A, Bennani A, Granier M, Delvare G, Peterschmitt M (2006) Distribution of tomato-infecting begomoviruses and Bemisia tabaci biotypes in Morocco. Annals of Applied Biology 149(2), 175-186.