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Saudi J Biol Sci. 2017 Sep;24(6):1336-1343. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.02.022. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Detection of new viruses in alfalfa, weeds and cultivated plants growing adjacent to alfalfa fields in Saudi Arabia.

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Plant Protection Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


A total of 1368 symptomatic plant samples showing different virus-like symptoms such as mottling, chlorosis, mosaic, yellow mosaic, vein clearing and stunting were collected from alfalfa, weed and cultivated plant species growing in vicinity of alfalfa fields in five principal regions of alfalfa production in Saudi Arabia. DAS-ELISA test indicated occurrence of 11 different viruses in these samples, 10 of which were detected for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Eighty percent of the alfalfa samples and 97.5% of the weed and cultivated plants samples were found to be infected with one or more of these viruses. Nine weed plant species were found to harbor these viruses namely, Sonchus oleraceus, Chenopodium spp., Hibiscus spp., Cichorium intybus, Convolvulus arvensis, Malva parviflora, Rubus fruticosus, Hippuris vulgaris, and Flaveria trinervia. These viruses were also detected in seven cultivated crop plants growing adjacent to the alfalfa fields including Vigna unguiculata, Solanum tuberosum, Solanum melongena, Phaseolus vulgaris, Cucurbita maxima, Capsicum annuum, and Vicia faba. The newly reported viruses together with their respective percent of detection in alfalfa, and in both weeds and cultivated crop plant species together were as follows: Bean leaf roll virus (BLRV) {12.5 and 4.5%}, Lucerne transient streak virus (LTSV) {2.9 and 3.5%}, Bean yellow mosaic virus (BYMV) {1.4 and 4.5%}, Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV) {1.2 and 4.5%}, Red clover vein mosaic virus (RCVMV) {1.2 and 4%}, White clover mosaic virus (WCIMV) {1.0 and 5%}, Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) {0.8 and 3%}, Pea streak virus (PeSV) {0.4 and 4.5%} and Tobacco streak virus (TSV) {0.3 and 2.5%}. Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), the previously reported virus in alfalfa, had the highest percentage of detection in alfalfa accounting for 58.4% and 62.8% in the weeds and cultivated plants. Peanut stunt virus (PSV) was also detected for the first time in Saudi Arabia with a 66.7% of infection in 90 alfalfa samples collected from the surveyed regions during the last visit that tested negative to all the previously detected viruses.


Alfalfa; Cucurbita maxima; ELISA; Potato; Saudi Arabia; Vicia faba; Viruses; Weeds

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