Symptoms of Watermelon chlorotic stunt begomovirus observed in Greece
In June 1996, symptoms of a new disease were observed on watermelon crops (Citrullus lanatus) in Elia and Trikala prefectures in Greece. Infection rate ranged from 2 to 5 %. Affected plants showed severe stunting, small leaves and fruits (or even no fruit). Severe leaf mottling and curling was observed. Affected fruits also showed chlorotic lesions. These symptoms were very similar to those caused Watermelon chlorotic stunt begomovirus (EPPO Alert List) which had been reported first in Yemen, in 1995. In addition, the disease could be transmitted to healthy watermelon plants by grafting but not by infected sap or aphids. Due to the lack of specific PCR primers, the identity of the virus found in Greece could not be ascertained, but it is likely that Watermelon chlorotic stunt begomovirus occurs in Greece. Research will continue on this disease in Greece, as it is felt that it represents a threat to watermelon cultivation.
Bem, F.; Paplomatas, E.J. (2001) Occurrence of the disease “Watermelon chlorotic stunt” in Greece. Abstract of a paper presented at the 9th Hellenic Phytopathological Congress, Athens, Greece, 1998-10-20/22.
Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 40(1), p 80.