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The global trade in fresh produce and the vagility of plant viruses: A case study in garlic

Wylie, S.J., Li, H., Saqib, M. and Jones, M.G.K. (2014) The global trade in fresh produce and the vagility of plant viruses: A case study in garlic. PloS one, 9 (8). e105044.

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As cuisine becomes globalized, large volumes of fresh produce are traded internationally. The potential exists for pathogens infecting fresh produce to hitchhike to new locations and perhaps to establish there. It is difficult to identify them using traditional methods if pathogens are novel, scarce, and/or unexpected. In an attempt to overcome this limitation, we used high-throughput sequencing technology as a means of detecting all RNA viruses infecting garlic (Allium sativum L.) bulbs imported into Australia from China, the USA, Mexico, Argentina and Spain, and those growing in Australia. Bulbs tested were grown over multiple vegetative generations and all were stably infected with one or more viruses, including two species not previously recorded in Australia. Present in various combinations from 10 garlic bulbs were 41 virus isolates representing potyviruses (Onion yellow dwarf virus, Leek yellow stripe virus), carlaviruses (Shallot latent virus, Garlic common latent virus) and allexiviruses (Garlic virus A, B, C, D, and X), for which 19 complete and 22 partial genome sequences were obtained, including the first complete genome sequences of two isolates of GarVD. The most genetically distinct isolates of GarVA and GarVX described so far were identified from Mexico and Argentina, and possible scenarios explaining this are presented. The complete genome sequence of an isolate of the potexvirus Asparagus virus 3 (AV3) was obtained in Australia from wild garlic (A. vineale L.), a naturalized weed. This is first time AV3 has been identified from wild garlic and the first time it has been identified beyond China and Japan. The need for routine generic diagnosis and appropriate legislation to address the risks to primary production and wild plant communities from pathogens spread through the international trade in fresh produce is discussed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2014 Wylie et al.
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