eISSN: 2353-9461
ISSN: 0860-7796
BioTechnologia
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3/2021
vol. 102
 
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abstract:
RESEARCH PAPERS

Cacao swollen shoot virus detection and DNA barcoding of its vectors and putative vectors in Theobroma cacao L. by using polymerase chain reaction

Ekemini Edet Obok
1
,
Peter O Aikpokpodion
1
,
Obinna Chukwu Ani
1
,
Joël Allainguillaume
2
,
Andrew Wetten
2

1.
University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
2.
Department of Biological, Biomedical and Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
BioTechnologia vol. 102 (3) C pp. 229–244 C 2021
Online publish date: 2021/09/30
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Cacao swollen shoot virus (CSSV) is an endemic pathogen causing significant economic losses to cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) production in West Africa. There is limited updated report on the occurrence, spread, genetic diversity and species of CSSV and its mealybug vectors, especially in Nigeria. Nigeria is presently lagging behind in the search for resistance to CSSV and its vectors in T. cacao L. The present study aimed to map and screen for the presence of CSSV and its natural vectors – female mealybugs (Pseudococcidae: Hemiptera) in cacao plantations in Nigeria. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cacao leaves and whole female mealybug samples were collected from major cacao-growing areas in Nigeria – Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Ondo and Oyo States. A total of 2568 cacao leaves from 1052 cacao trees were screened with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using an open reading frame 1 (ORF 1) CSSV-specific primer pair. PCR screening of the mealybug species was performed using the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histology for morphological identification and DNA barcoding enabled to characterise the female mealybug species. The results revealed that CSSV and its mealybug vectors are present in the major cacao-growing areas in Nigeria. Although CSSV and its vectors have been previously reported in Cross River, Ondo and Oyo States, our results present the first documented evidence of CSSV emergence and its mealybug vectors in Abia, Akwa Ibom and Edo States. We also present the first report of Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi (Gimpel and Miller) mealybug species on cacao in Nigeria. In conclusion, it is pertinent to re-establish coordinated routine survey and monitoring of CSSV and its mealybug vector presence in T. cacao L. in Nigeria.
keywords:

Cacao swollen shoot virus, COI – cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, DNA barcoding, Jack Beardsley mealybug, PCR – polymerase chain reaction, Theobroma cacao

 
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