From six different districts of Punjab, Pakistan, 85 isolates of Citrus tristeza virus(CTV) were collected and characterized based on coat protein gene (CPG) analysis. All isolates were collected from field trees showing various CTV symptoms such as decline in most citrus varieties, inverse pitting on some sour orange rootstocks below bud union, mild-to-moderate stem-pitting on the trunk of some sweet orange. The CTV CP gene of all isolates was amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) using CP gene-specific primers yielding 672 bp. The maximum disease incidence was found in sweet orange followed by mandarin and grapefruit. These isolates were then subjected to CPG/Hinf I restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Mixed infection of CTV isolates was found very common in the field tress in Pakistan. The most dominant CPG/Hinf I RFLP groups III, I and VI are the basic causal epidemic in Pakistan. Moreover, based on symptoms in the field trees, CPG/Hinf I RFLP groups III, I and VI are considered to be the obvious causes of decline and stem-pitting in Pakistan.
Key words: Citrus tristeza virus, CPG/Hinf I restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) groups, decline, stem-pitting.
CTV, Citrus tristeza virus; CPG, coat protein gene.
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