Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important crop that constitutes staple food and income for 800 million people worldwide. Cassava yield in Côte d'Ivoire is reduced due to a variety of factors, including cassava mosaic disease. Despite the impact of the pathogen Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV) on production, genetic diversity of this virus is rarely studied in Côte d'Ivoire. This study aims to assess the molecular variability of CMV occurring in three of large cassava production area of Côte d’Ivoire. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cassava leaves were collected for genomic DNA extraction and molecular identification was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Amplified DNA was sequenced and analyzed in silico. 68% of infections were identified as African Cassava Mosaic Virus strains. Sequences alignment to Genbank sequences showed high similarity with sequences of virus from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroun, Madagascar, and Nigeria. The virus's rapid evolution was demonstrated by a high mutation rate at the protein level. A phylogenetic analysis also revealed seven new genotypes of ACMV strain. This result reflects a progressive genetic evolution of the virus strains, which could impact negatively on cassava crop in Côte d'Ivoire. This study proposed selecting resistant traditional cassava genotypes to control virus spread.
Key words: Cassava mosaic disease, ACMV, in silico analysis, mutation, resistant genotype, Côte d’Ivoire.
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