Date of this Version
Published in Annals of Applied Biology 139 (2001), pp 307-317.
We demonstrated the occurrence of mature plant resistance in Capsicum annuum 'Early Calwonder' to Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) under greenhouse conditions. When Early Cal wonder plants were sown at 10 day intervals and transplanted to 10-cm square pots, three distinct plant sizes were identified that were designated small, medium and large. Trials conducted during each season showed that CMV accumulated in inoculated leaves of all plants of each size category. All small plants (with the exception of the winter trial) developed a systemic infection that included accumulation of CMV in uninoculated leaves and severe systemic symptoms. Medium plants had a range of responses that included no systemic infection to detection of CMV in uninoculated leaves with the systemically infected plants being either symptomless or expressing only mild symptoms. None of the large plants contained detectable amounts of CMV in uninoculated leaves or developed symptoms. When plants were challenged by inoculation of leaves positioned at different locations along the stem or different numbers of leaves were inoculated, large plants continued to accumulate CMV in inoculated leaves but no systemic infection was observed. When systemic infection of large plants did occur, e.g. when CMV-infected pepper was used as a source of inoculum, virus accumulation in uninoculated leaves was relatively low and plants remained symptomless. A time-course study of CMV accumulation in inoculated leaves revealed no difference between small and large plants. Analyses to examine movement of CMV into the petiole of inoculated leaves and throughout the stem showed a range in the extent of infection. While all large plants contained CMV in inoculated leaves, some had no detectable amounts of virus beyond the leaf blade, whereas others contained virus throughout the length of the stem but with limited accumulation relative to controls.