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2022 Speakers

Interaction between cowpea aphid-borne mosaic virus isolates and its effect on passion fruit woodiness disease on passiflora edulis sims and passiflora ligularis juss

Lucy Kiptui

Lucy Kiptui, Speaker at Speaker for Plant Biology 2022 - Lucy Kiptui
Egerton Univerisity, Kenya
Title : Interaction between cowpea aphid-borne mosaic virus isolates and its effect on passion fruit woodiness disease on passiflora edulis sims and passiflora ligularis juss


In East Africa, passion fruit woodiness disease is caused by potyviruses, among which are Cowpea Aphid-Borne Mosaic Virus (CABMV) and Uganda Passiflora Virus (UPV). Previous studies suggest that synergistic interaction of viruses causes mild or severe outcomes of the disease. However, mixed infections of these viruses have not been documented. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of the interaction between two CABMV isolates causing passion fruit woodiness disease in Kenya. Healthy plants were mechanically inoculated at six-leaf stage. Four treatments were used: CABMV isolate 1, CABMV isolate 2, mixture of the two isolates, and noninoculated control. The test plants were maintained in a screen house, and data on symptom severity and rate of disease development were recorded. ELISA test was conducted to confirm virus presence and distribution. +e results indicate that the CABMV isolates used are systemic. There were various differences in disease progression, which was faster in the sweet passion variety than in the purple variety. However, the latter had a higher disease severity. Coinfected plants expressed severe symptoms compared to the singly infected ones, indicating synergistic interaction between the viral isolates. This is implies that coinfection has adverse impact resulting in higher economic losses.

Audience Take away: 

  • They will learn the effects of virus interactions on symptoms and severity and virus distribution.
  • They will gain an insight on woodiness disease management.
  • The results can be used to identify genetic materials for breeding, thus, the procedure can be undertaken for other plant viruses.
  • For individuals in research or job, it shows researchers that knowing the exact virus isolate is important for diagnostic purposes, and it is critical to understand possible coinfection and how it alters host pathogen interaction. Leaves being the current gold standard for testing, one will learn the importance of including other parts for effective identification. Generally, understanding the management strategies for this disease for passion fruit farmers will improve livelihoods and economies of small scale farmers in East Africa and the World. The work can also be used for teaching purposes.


A plant pathologist graduate based in Egerton University, Kenya with an interest in undertaking bioscience research that promotes plant health to improve food security. I graduated from Egerton University with a degree in Botany and Zoology and later Master’s in Plant Pathology. I have undertaken research in plant virology and contributed to science through several publications. Currently, my aim is to have a better understanding of plant-microbes interactions affecting native orphan crops and further influence their relationship to increase crop yield.

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