Turncurtoviruses (family: Geminiviridae; genus: Turncurtovirus) appear to have a high degree of genetic variation in Iran. Leafhoppers of the species Circulifer haematoceps (Mulsant and Rey, 1855) (family: Cicadellidae) were collected in 2014 from three geographical regions in south-eastern Iran (Orzoeyeh, Jiroft and Sirjan; Kerman province) and screened for the presence of turncurtoviruses using a combination of PCR and rolling circle amplification (RCA) methods. Eleven genomes of turncurtovirus were recovered and sequenced. Leafhoppers were sampled off sesame (S. indicum L.) and turnip (Brassica rapa sub sp. rapa). Thus, we identified three symptomatic sesame plants (yellowing, boat-shaped leaf curling, vein swelling on the lower leaf surfaces) from sesame farms in Jiroft. In these samples, we identified the same turncurtovirus as in the leafhoppers and have named it sesame curly top virus (SeCTV). Collectively, these SeCTV share > 98% genome-wide pairwise identity and ~ 87.3% to a recently identified turncurtovirus (sesame yellow mosaic virus; SeYMV) from sesame in Pakistan (GenBank accession MF344550). The SeCTV and SeYMV sequences share < 70% genome-wide pairwise identity with isolates of Turnip curly top virus and Turnip leaf roll virus, the two species in the genus Turncurtovirus. Based on the pairwise identities and phylogenetic analysis, SeCTV (n = 12) and SeYMV (n = 1) represent two strains of a new species in the genus Turncurtovirus.
Keywords: Circulifer haematoceps; Iran; Sesame curly top virus; Sesamum indicum; Turncurtovirus.