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Identification and characterization of Chilean isolates of Watermelon Mosaic Virus II

Humberto Prieto E.1 , Alicia Bruna V. , Patricio Hinrichsen R. y Carlos Muñoz S.

Watermelon Mosaic Virus II (WMV-I1) affects yield and fruit quality ofseveral cultivated Cucurbitaceae species. This study reports upon its distribution in Chile and the purification and molecular characterization of sorne WMV-11 isolates. Data suggests that WMV-11 is distributed throughout the IV and VI Regions, being the most frequently found virus in melon, watermelon and squash. WMV-11 identification was based upon symptoms obtained with indicator plants and immunoassays carried out with polyclonal antibodies (ELISA test). Purification ofthis virus demonstrated thattheWMV-11 Chilean isolates coincide with literature descriptions. It is a filamentous particle of 730 nm, formed by two main proteins of approximately 32 and 66 kDa. These proteins were positively recognized by polyclonal antibodies in Western analyses. The 260/280 nm absorbance ratio was 1.4, very close to the 1.2 value reported for this virus elsewhere.

Key words: melon, potyvirus, Cucurbitaceae, coat protein.

1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Regional de Investigación La Platina, Casilla 439-3, Santiago de Chile. e-mail: phinrich@inia.cl.

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