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Virology. 2001 Jul 5;285(2):234-43.

Identification of dna components required for induction of cotton leaf curl disease.

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Department of Virus Research, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UH, United Kingdom.


Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) is a major constraint to cotton production in Pakistan. Infectious clones of the monopartite begomovirus cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), associated with diseased cotton, are unable to induce typical symptoms in host plants. We have identified and isolated a single-stranded DNA molecule approximately 1350 nucleotides in length which, when coinoculated with the begomovirus to cotton, induces symptoms typical of CLCuD, including vein swelling, vein darkening, leaf curling, and enations. This molecule (termed DNA beta) requires the begomovirus for replication and encapsidation. The CLCuV/DNA 1/DNA beta complex, together with a similar complex previously identified in Ageratum conyzoides, represent members of an entirely new type of infectious, disease-causing agents. The implications of this finding to our understanding of the evolution of new disease-causing agents are discussed.

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