Arch Virol (2005) 150: 1669–1675
Biolistic infection of cassava using cloned components
of Indian cassava mosaic virus
, R. W. Briddon
, D. Haible
, J. Stanley
, and H. Jeske
Department of Molecular Biology and Plant Virology, University of Stuttgart,
Department of Disease and Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, U.K.
Received September 27, 2004; accepted February 2, 2005
Published online April 14, 2005
Summary. Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) is a major constraint to cassava pro-
duction in Africa and Asia. Of the two begomoviruses associated with CMD on the
Indian subcontinent, Indian cassava mosaic virus (ICMV) and Sri Lankan cassava
mosaic virus, only the latter has been successfully reintroduced into cassava to
resolve the aetiology of the disease. Here, we report the complete nucleotide
sequence of an ICMV isolate from Maharashtra (ICMV-[Mah2]), central India.
Biolistic inoculation of the cloned components produced a systemic infection and
typical mosaic symptoms in cassava, thereby fulﬁlling Koch’s postulates. The
availability of infectious clones will provide a valuable tool to screen new cassava
cultivars for disease resistance under deﬁned conditions.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz, Euphorbiaceae) represents the third largest
source of carbohydrates for human consumption , and is grown throughout
equatorial regions of America, Africa and Asia with an annual yield of 187.6
million tons . Originating in South America, it was ﬁrst introduced into Africa
in the 16
century and thereafter to Asia . A major constraint to its cultiva-
tion is cassava mosaic disease (CMD) which is caused by whiteﬂy-transmitted
begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) [8, 16]. First described on the African
continent as “Kr¨auselkrankheit” by Warburg , average annual yield losses of
at least 30–40% have had disastrous consequences in central Africa .
CMD had not been reported in India before 1966 although it was probably
present earlier  and has become more prevalent in southern India in recent