Calibrachoa is a genus of the Solanaceae family endemic to South America that is used as an ornamental plant. Calibrachoa grows vigorously and has flowers of different colors such as pink, violet, red, yellow, and salmon. Even though Calibrachoa hybrida in Argentina is mainly sold in the local markets and in a small percentage, the importance of this genus lies in being the main source of germplasm for ornamental varieties of great international impact. Viral diseases represent a serious problem for calibrachoa production because they decrease its commercial value and productivity.
In a production greenhouse at Buenos Aires, Argentina, C. hybrida cultivars ‘Pampa Salmón INTA’ and ‘Overá Fucsia INTA’ displayed virus-like symptoms, including leaf mosaic, petal spots, and growth retardation. The objective of the present study was to identify the cause of the disease to expand the knowledge about prevalent pathologies.
Thus, samples from symptomatic leaf tissue were collected from plants of C. hybrida cultivar Overá Fucsia INTA and tested by indirect ELISA using polyclonal antibodies against potyviruses. The results of that study revealed that all samples were positive for a potyvirus. Then, Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with degenerate primers was performed to identify this potyvirus and the results showed that the plants were infected with Potato Virus Y (PVY).
Finally, this is the first report of PVY as a pathogen of Calibrachoa in Argentina.
Read the full investigation at:
Leticia Tombion, Liliana M. Alderete, Mariana Pérez de La Torre, Yamila. C. Agrofoglio, Verónica C. Delfosse, Ana J. Distefano y María S. Soto (2019). First Report of Potato Virus Y in Ornamental Calibrachoa in Argentina. Plant Disease. 103:1799. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-09-18-1673-PDN.