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In a survey conducted in Cannabis sativa L. (cannabis) authorized farms in Israel, plants showed disease symptoms characteristic of nutrition deprivation. Interveinal chlorosis, brittleness, and occasional necrosis were observed in older leaves. Next generation sequencing analysis of RNA extracted from symptomatic leaves revealed the presence of lettuce chlorosis virus (LCV), a crinivirus that belongs to the Closteroviridae family. The complete viral genome sequence was obtained using RT-PCR and Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) PCR followed by Sanger sequencing. The two LCV RNA genome segments shared 85–99% nucleotide sequence identity with LCV isolates from GenBank database. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci Middle Eastern Asia Minor1 (MEAM1) biotype transmitted the disease from symptomatic cannabis plants to un-infected ‘healthy’ cannabis, Lactuca sativa, and Catharanthus roseus plants. Shoots from symptomatic cannabis plants, used for plant propagation, constituted a primary inoculum of the disease. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of cannabis plant disease caused by LCV. 

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Lettuce Chlorosis Virus Disease: A New Threat to Cannabis Production
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Lettuce Chlorosis Virus Disease: A New Threat to Cannabis Production

In a survey conducted in Cannabis sativa L. (cannabis) authorized farms in Israel, plants showed disease symptoms characteristic of nutrition deprivation. Interveinal chlorosis, brittleness, and occasional necrosis were observed in older leaves. Next generation sequencing analysis of RNA extracted from symptomatic leaves revealed the presence of lettuce chlorosis virus (LCV), a crinivirus that belongs to the Closteroviridae family. The complete viral genome sequence was obtained using RT-PCR and Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) PCR followed by Sanger sequencing. The two LCV RNA genome segments shared 85–99% nucleotide sequence identity with LCV isolates from GenBank database. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci Middle Eastern Asia Minor1 (MEAM1) biotype transmitted the disease from symptomatic cannabis plants to un-infected ‘healthy’ cannabis, Lactuca sativa, and Catharanthus roseus plants. Shoots from symptomatic cannabis plants, used for plant propagation, constituted a primary inoculum of the disease. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of cannabis plant disease caused by LCV. 

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