First report of papaya meleira virus (PMeV) in Mexico
Papaya meleira virus (PMeV), causal agent of meleira or sticky disease, is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus which has been previously reported only in Brazil. A study was carried out in order to verify the presence and occurrence of PMeV in Mexico. Latex samples from symptomatic and asymptomatic papaya fruits were collected in Quintana Roo state papaya orchards, where the first symptoms of PMeV were observed, and from 29 different municipalities located in ten papaya producer states in Mexico. A molecular protocol based on nucleic acid extraction was used for the diagnosis and a virus 12 Kb dsRNA distinctive band was observed in all PMeV infected plants. Around 46% of the evaluated plants were positive for this pathogen. Presence of the virus had been confirmed in seven states indicating the potential damage that PMeV could cause in the papaya crop in Mexico. The molecular analysis used allowed the diagnosis of infected plants without symptoms and facilitated the diagnosis in flowers and small papaya fruits also. The early diagnosis of PMeV will allow papaya producers to take appropriate and timely control measures. This is the first report of Papaya meleira virus in Mexico.
Key words: Papaya meleira virus, sticky disease, dsRNA, nucleic acid analysis.