Biological Invasions of Geminiviruses: Case Study of TYLCV and Bemisia tabaci in Reunion Island
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AbstractIn the last 20 years, molecular ecology approaches have proven to be extremely useful to identify and assess factors associated with viral emerging diseases, particularly in economically and socially important tropical crops such as maize (maize streak disease) and cassava (cassava mosaic disease). Molecular ecology approaches were applied in Reunion Island to analyze the epidemic of tomato yellow leaf curl disease, which has been affecting the island since the end of the 1990s. Before the invasive biotype B (currently known as Middle East-Asia Minor 1 cryptic species) of Bemisia tabaci spread across the world, Reunion Island (South West Indian Ocean) only hosted an indigenous biotype of B. tabaci, Ms (currently known as Indian Ocean cryptic species). Wild hybrids between invasive and indigenous species were subsequently characterized over multiple generations. Endosymbiont analysis of the hybrid population indicated that matings were non-random. Similarly, while no indigenous begomoviruses have ever been reported on Reunion Island, the two main strains of one of the most damaging and emerging plant viruses in the world, the Mild and Israel strains of the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV-Mld and TYLCV-IL), were introduced in 1997 and 2004 respectively. While these introductions extensively modified the agricultural landscape of Reunion Island, they also provided an invaluable opportunity to study the ecological and genetic mechanisms involved in biological invasion and competition.