EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 11 - 2002 Num. article: 2002/179

Details on Watermelon chlorotic stunt begomovirus in Iran

Watermelon chlorotic stunt begomovirus (WMCSV; EPPO Alert List) was first observed in the south of Iran on watermelon in 1998. Symptoms were so severe in some areas that growers had to stop growing watermelon. Studies were conducted on the host range of an Iranian isolate of WMSCV and its geographical distribution in Iran. In transmission studies, Bemisia tabaci easily transmitted WMCSV to watermelon, Datura stramonium and bean, but not to faba bean and tomato. Field surveys were also conducted on watermelon, melon, squash and cucumber crops in 10 major cucurbit-growing areas of Iran. WMCSV was found on watermelon in southern provinces (Hormozgan, Bushehr, Kerman, Sistan-Baluchestan). It was not detected in central and northern provinces (main areas of field-cucurbit production), despite the presence of Bemisia tabaci in most locations surveyed. Natural infection on squash* and wild watermelon (Citrullus colocynthis) was found only in the province of Hormozgan. It is not yet clear why WMCSV does not occur in the central or northern provinces of Iran, nor why infection on squash was found only in one of the infested provinces. The authors recommend that measures are put in place to prevent further spread of the virus.

* The natural infection of squash by WMCSV is new to the EPPO Secretariat.


Bananej, K.; Ahoonmanesh, A.; Kheyr-Pour, A. (2002) Host range of an Iranian isolate of Watermelon chlorotic stunt virus as determined by whitefly-mediated inoculation and agroinfection, and its geographical distribution. Journal of Phytopathology, 150(8-9), 423-430.