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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #143712


item Hsu, Hei Ti
item Maroon Lango, Clarissa

Submitted to: Advances in Plant Disease Management
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2003
Publication Date: 12/20/2003
Citation: Hsu, H.T., Maroon-Lango, C. 2003. Management of Viral Diseases in Floral and Nursery Crops in: Advances in Plant Disease Management (eds). Res. Signpost. pp. 413-429.

Interpretive Summary: Damage caused by microbial infections in plants is difficult to assess. Economic crop losses of diseased plants include reduced growth and vigor of infected plants which cause a reduction in yield. In addition, the quality and market value of commercial end products are seriously affected. Crops are constantly threatened by pathogenic organisms including fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses. Control of plant diseases caused by viruses, viroids and fastidious prokaryotes is difficult. Unlike diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and nematodes, where control measures using chemical, biological, and integrated pest management approaches have been effective, control of diseases caused by viruses, viroids and fastidious prokaryotes is achieved by sanitary practices that involve reducing sources of inoculum from outside and preventing spread within the crops, limiting the population of vectors and the use of resistant cultivars. Early diagnosis of diseases in a field and removal of the infected plants minimizes spread of the pathogens. Many of the most important horticultural crops including floral and nursery plants are propagated vegetatively. Production of these crops involves a scale-up in the production that often begins with a single plant or a few progeny that are selected for superior horticultural value. Producers of nuclear stock have long realized the importance of certifying the foundation plants free of all known infectious disease organisms. Testing provides assurance of pathogen-free plant materials. This article presents new developments in disease diagnosis and molecular approaches in resistance breeding for a better management of viral diseases in ornamentals. It is aimed at a general audience including plant pathologists, entomologists, quarantine officials, extensions workers and floral and nursery crop growers.

Technical Abstract: Control of plant diseases caused by viruses, viroids and fastidious prokaryotes involves exclusion, eradication, protection and the use of resistant varieties. Development of serological and molecular techniques allows rapid diagnosis of diseases and reliable detection of causal agents. Accurate identification of a pathogen enables the development of control strategies and implementation of control measures. Genetic engineering technologies now make it possible to transfer resistance genes into commercially valuable varieties or cultivars with minimum disturbance of the genome of target plants.