Analysis of Iris yellow spot virus strains from onion (Allium cepa) from Georgia (USA) and Peru

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Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) was first observed in sweet onions in Georgia (USA) in 2003 in the Vidalia region. The virus had been reported in the onion‐growing regions in western USA several years before being detected in Georgia in the east. Although symptoms were observed on onions in Peru several years earlier, the presence of IYSV was not confirmed in Peru until after the virus was detected in Georgia. We characterized nine isolates of IYSV recovered from sweet onions in both Georgia (four isolates) and Peru (five isolates) by sequencing the nucleocapsid (N) gene and compared those sequences with sequences available in GenBank. Sequence divergence between IYSV isolates from Georgia and Peru was low with 1.1%, and comparisons with IYSV isolates from other regions showed divergence of up to 11.4%. Bootstrap analysis indicated with a high degree of confidence that the Georgia and Peruvian isolates fell into the same clade and were different from known isolates from western USA that fell into sister clades. The high degree of similarity between Georgia and Peruvian isolates suggests that gene flow occurred from Peru into Georgia.

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