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Youjian Lin and Charles A. Powell

The distribution pattern of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) T-36 isolate in leaves of infected mexican lime [Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle] plants was visualized using a whole-leaf-blot immunoassay (WLBIA) procedure in combination with a computer scanning imaging technique and CTV-specific monoclonal antibody 17G11 (CTV MAb 17G11). The distribution pattern of CTV T-36 in leaves varied with the age of the leaves and shoots of infected plants. In the young leaves, especially the about 5-day-old leaves and the completed expanded leaves, CTV T-36 was easily detected in most of the leaf veins, the main veins and the large and small primary veins. In the old leaves, CTV T-36 only was detected in the main veins, sometimes in a few of the large primary veins with weak signals, and seldom in the small primary veins. The distribution density and immunoassay reaction signals of CTV T-36 reacted to CTV MAb 17G11 in leaves from new shoots were much higher than that in leaves from old shoots. ELISA test results using leaves with different ages from different shoots of the same mexican lime plants infected with CTV T-36 supported the visualized-test results obtained by the WLBIA in combination with computer scanning imaging technique. This is the first reported visual analysis of the distribution pattern of CTV in leaves of infected citrus plants. The results indicate that the WLBIA in combination with computer scanning imaging technique is a useful tool for studying the distribution of plant viruses in leaves of virus-infected plants.