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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DETECTION, IDENTIFICATION, AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NEW AND EMERGING VIRAL AND BACTERIAL DISEASES OF ORNAMENTAL PLANTS Title: Virus diseases of ornamentals

Authors
item Hammond, John
item Jordan, Ramon
item Vaira, Anna Maria -

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 18, 2011
Publication Date: December 22, 2011
Citation: Hammond, J., Jordan, R.L., Vaira, A. 2011. Virus diseases of ornamentals. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. Available: http://www.eolss.net.

Interpretive Summary: Ornamental plants are grown around the world for their esthetic value, and form an important part of the agricultural economy in a large number of countries; ornamentals are also often one of the highest-valued crops that can be raised per unit area of production space. Increasing levels of international trade, and the increased scale at which many ornamental plants are grown, has led to higher levels of concern about the health status of commercially-produced ornamental crops. Virus diseases cannot be treated or, in most cases, effectively prevented, by chemical treatments, and thus control of plant virus diseases differs from controls implemented for fungal and bacterial diseases. Viruses frequently directly impact the value of the affected ornamental crops through effects on both yield and quality, but are also of concern because of potential transmission of viruses to other agricultural crops. Our goal here is to present a broad overview of virus symptoms, virus transmission, the occurrence of virus diseases as related to changes in the scale and practices of the ornamentals industry, and methods for testing, diagnosis, and control of viral diseases. A virus that may be of little consequence for yield and quality in one ornamental species may have devastating effects in another ornamental crop, or potentially in a major agronomic crop. The most effective method of control of virus diseases is generally the avoidance of initial introduction of the virus into the crop or the production chain, so it is important for producers at all levels - from the small-scale specialist grower to the largest nurseries producing many hundreds of different types of ornamentals – to be aware of viral diseases and their potential consequences.

Technical Abstract: Ornamental plants are grown around the world for their esthetic value, and form an important part of the agricultural economy in a large number of countries; ornamentals are also often one of the highest-valued crops that can be raised per unit area of production space. Increasing levels of international trade, and the increased scale at which many ornamental plants are grown, has led to higher levels of concern about the health status of commercially-produced ornamental crops. Virus diseases cannot be treated or, in most cases, effectively prevented, by chemical treatments, and thus control of plant virus diseases differs from controls implemented for fungal and bacterial diseases. Viruses frequently directly impact the value of the affected ornamental crops through effects on both yield and quality, but are also of concern because of potential transmission of viruses to other agricultural crops. Our goal here is to present a broad overview of virus symptoms, virus transmission, the occurrence of virus diseases as related to changes in the scale and practices of the ornamentals industry, and methods for testing, diagnosis, and control of viral diseases. A virus that may be of little consequence for yield and quality in one ornamental species may have devastating effects in another ornamental crop, or potentially in a major agronomic crop. The most effective method of control of virus diseases is generally the avoidance of initial introduction of the virus into the crop or the production chain, so it is important for producers at all levels - from the small-scale specialist grower to the largest nurseries producing many hundreds of different types of ornamentals – to be aware of viral diseases and their potential consequences.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014