Viral diseases affecting chickpea crops in Eritrea
conducted during November 2005. The survey covered 31 randomly selected chickpea fi elds. Virus disease incidence
was determined on the basis of laboratory testing of 100–200 randomly collected samples from each fi eld against
antisera of 9 legume viruses. Serological tests indicated that the Luteoviruses were the most common, with an overall
incidence of 5.6%, followed by Faba bean necrotic yellows virus (FBNYV, genus Nanovirus, family Nanoviridae) (4.1%)
and Chickpea chlorotic dwarf virus (CpCDV, genus Mastrevirus, family Geminiviridae) (0.9%). The reverse transcription
polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test showed that the most common luteoviruses in Eritrea are Chickpea
chlorotic stunt virus (CpCSV) followed by Beet western yellows virus (BWYV, genus Polerovirus, family Luteoviridae).
Based on the fi eld symptoms observed, 29 fi elds had, at the time of the survey, a virus disease incidence of 1% or less
and only two fi elds had an incidence of about 5%, whereas on the basis of laboratory testing, 19 fi elds had more than
6% virus incidence (three of these had an incidence of 29.5, 34.5 and 40.5%). This is the fi rst survey of chickpea viruses
in Eritrea and the fi rst report of BWYV, CpCDV, CpCSV and FBNYV naturally infecting chickpea in Eritrea.
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