First report of Pepino mosaic virus in Syria
In Syria, tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are widely grown in open fields, and there is an increasing production under glasshouses and plastic tunnels. During winter 2007/2008, tomato fruits were collected from the main markets in different cities of Syria, and 60 samples were tested (DAS-ELISA) for the possible presence of Pepino mosaic virus (Potexvirus, PepMV – EPPO A2 List). Results showed that one fruit sample was infected by PepMV. This infected sample had been collected from a tomato crop grown under plastic tunnel near Latakia. The identity of the virus was confirmed by bioassays, RT-PCR and sequencing. This Syrian isolate showed the highest sequence similarity with the EU-tomato strains of PepMV. This is the first time that PepMV is detected in Syria. Further studies are needed to determine the extent of the disease in Syrian tomato crops.
The situation of Pepino mosaic virus in Syria can be described as follows: Present, detected for the first time in 2008 in one tomato sample collected near Latakia.
Fakhro A, Von Bargen S, Bandte M, Büttner C (2010) Pepino mosaic virus, a first report of a virus infecting tomato in Syria. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 49(1), 99-101.