Fig mosaic is a viral disease (FMD) that spreads in Palestinian common fig (Ficus carica L.) orchards. Recognizing the economic value of fig plants and the harmful nature of FMD, the disease poses a significant threat to the economy of the fig production in Palestine. We applied the reverse transcription and amplification (RT-PCR) and PCR technique to leaf samples of 77 trees and 14 seedlings of 17 fig cultivars. The samples were collected from orchards in the main fig-growing provinces of the Palestinian West Bank, to assess the prevalence of viruses associated with FMD, and confirm a possible link of symptoms with viruses detected. Four viruses were detected: Fig mosaic virus (FMV), Fig badnavirus-1 (FBV-1), Fig leaf mottle-associated virus 2 (FLMaV-2), and Fig fleck-associated virus (FFkaV). FMV and FBV-1 were found in all tested fig plants (100%), while FLMaV-2 and FFkaV were detected in 61.5% and 33% of the fig samples, respectively. The high incidence of FBV-1 in the newly propagated symptomatic and symptomless seedlings from different cultivars may be an indication that FBV-1 is integrated into the genome of the fig in a cultivar nondiscriminatory manner. Very weak or no association was detected between FMD symptoms severity in the 17 Palestinian fig cultivars with the various viruses’ combinations observed (i.e., number of the viruses infecting the plant). These results support the notion that FMD symptom severity expression is likely to be controlled by a combination of FMV infection, cultivars, and environmental factors, rather than the number of viruses infecting the plant.
Plant Pathology Journal
FFkaV, fig, fig viruses, FMD, RT-PCR and sequencing