Background: In recent years, two of the crinivirus, Tomato chlorosis virus (ToCV) and Cucurbit chlorotic yellows virus (CCYV) have gained increasing attention due to their rapid spread and devastating impacts on vegetable production worldwide. Both of these viruses are transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), in a semi-persistent manner. Up to now, there is still lack of report in Hainan, the south of China.

Methods: We used observational and experimental methods to explore the prevalence and incidence dynamic of CCYV and ToCV transmitted by whiteflies in Hainan of China.

Results: In 2016, the chlorosis symptom was observed in the tomato and cucumber plants with a large number of B. tabaci on the infected leaves in Hainan, China, with the incidence rate of 69.8% and 62.6% on tomato and cucumber, respectively. Based on molecular identification, Q biotype was determined with a viruliferous rate of 65.0% and 55.0% on the tomato and cucumber plants, respectively. The weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides near the tomato and cucumber was co-infected by the two viruses. Furthermore, incidence dynamic of ToCV and CCYV showed a close relationship with the weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides, which is widely distributed in Hainan.

Conclusion: Our results firstly reveal that the weed, A. philoxeroides is infected by both ToCV and CCYV. Besides, whiteflies showed a high viruliferous rate of ToCV and CCYV. Hainan is an extremely important vegetable production and seed breeding center in China. If the whitefly can carry these two viruses concurrently, co-infection in their mutual host plants can lead to devastating losses in the near future.

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Published in Virology Journal, v. 14, 169, p. 1-8.

© The Author(s). 2017

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

A correction to this article is available as the additional file listed below and online at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-019-1121-0

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This work was supported by the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (No. 201303028), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31501643, 31571982 and 31571981), and the Agriculture Research System of China (CARS-25-B-05).

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The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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