The WorldVeg West and Central Africa - Coastal & Humid Regions team recently visited Malanville, a major vegetable production area (tomato, purple onion, cabbage, chili pepper) in north Benin on the Niger border.
Visitors to the WorldVeg office in Benin find vegetable crops thriving in the Demonstration Garden.
Partners and donors are beginning to take notice of WorldVeg West and Central Africa – Coastal & Humid Regions in Cotonou, Benin.
Surveys were conducted in 2014 and 2015 in Southern and Northern Benin, respectively, to identify the viruses infecting peppers (Capsicum spp.). The samples were screened by ELISA for cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), pepper veinal mottle virus (PVMV), potato virus Y (PVY) and tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). A generic reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) was used to test for the presence of poleroviruses. ELISA tests confirmed the prevalence of all viruses, while the RT-PCR detected pepper vein yellows virus (PeVYV) which is reported for the first time in Benin. A further, divergent polerovirus isolate was detected from a single pepper sample originating from southern Benin. Screening of samples collected from solanaceous plants during virus surveys in Mali (conducted in 2009) also detected this divergent polerovirus isolate in two samples from African eggplants. The complete genome sequence was obtained from the Mali isolate using transcriptome sequencing and by conventional Sanger sequencing of overlapping RT-PCR products. Based on the sequence characteristics of this isolate we propose a new polerovirus species, African eggplant yellowing virus (AeYV).