Editorial: Identification and incidence of iris yellow spot virus, a new pathogen in onion and leek in Greece

E.K. Chatzivassiliou, V. Giavachtsia, A. Hassani-Mehraban, K. Hoedjes, D. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic

6 Citations (Scopus)


Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV; genus Tospovirus, family Bunyaviridae) is an emerging and serious pathogen affecting several Allium spp. worldwide (2). The virus causes straw-colored, chlorotic or necrotic lesions that coalesce, occasionally resulting in an extensive necrosis on onion (A. cepa L.) leaves. From February to June 2008, 530 onion and 439 leek (A. porum L.) leaf samples showing a variety of lesions were collected from different areas of Greece. All plants sampled were infested with Thrips tabaci Lindeman, the sole thrips species identified as the vector of this virus. Samples were analyzed by double-antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA using polyclonal antibodies against the N protein of IYSV (Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen Agricultural University). A higher percentage of onion samples than leek samples were infected, with IYSV detected in 36, 44, 23.7, 61.7, 10, 55, 15.3, and 9.4% of onion samples from the prefectures of Evros, Heraklion, Kavala, Magnissia, Pella, Rodopi, Thessaloniki, and Viotia, respectively, and in 5, 0, 0, 9.3, and 13% of leek samples from Evros, Heraklion, Magnissia, Pella, and Thessaloniki, respectively. No leek samples were tested from Kavala, Rodopi, and Viotia. Sap extracts from some positive samples were mechanically inoculated onto Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, and infected plants developed typical IYSV symptoms and were positive in DAS-ELISA, confirming transmission from the field samples. Viral RNA was extracted from ELISA-positive onion and leek samples and an ~800-bp amplicon was obtained from both hosts by reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR and N-gene primers derived from IYSV (IY1: 5'-CCCGAGGATCCATGGCTACCGTTAGGG-3' and IY2: 5'-CCCGAGGATCCAAATTAATTATATCTATCTTTCTTGG-3') (1). These amplicons were cloned and sequenced (GenBank Accession No. FJ785835) and nucleotide sequence comparisons showed a 98 to 99% identity with a Dutch isolate of IYSV (GenBank Accession No AF001387). The virus was transmitted among onion seedlings in the laboratory using a leek population of T. tabaci. Infected seedlings, as determined by DAS-ELISA, developed symptoms similar to those observed in the field samples. To our knowledge, this is the first report of IYSV in Greece; however, the virus seems already to be very well established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-761
Number of pages1
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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