A tobamovirus was isolated with difficulty from olive cv. Leccino in Tuscany (central Italy). The naturally field-infected olive tree displayed severe decline symptoms, while the leaves exhibited a conspicuous vein-banding. Mechanical transmission and (DAS)-ELISA detection of this virus was facilitated or obtained, respectively, after partial purification of leaf extracts. The virus shared several properties with the type-strain of tobacco mosaic virus; dissimilarities were excluded as regards host range, electrophoretic analyses and (DAS)-ELISA tests. Based on these findings we conclude that the tobamovirus isolate from olive is a strain of tobacco mosaic virus. This seems to be the first record of a tobamovirus associated to O. europaea; our results bring to 9 the total number of viruses isolated from olive in Italy.
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