|QUITO-AVILA, D - Oregon State University|
|CLINE, W - North Carolina State University|
|HAMON, P - University Of Florida|
|BRANNEN, P - University Of Georgia|
Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/25/2011
Publication Date: 8/2/2011
Citation: Martin, R.R., Quito-Avila, D.F., Cline, W.O., Hamon, P.F., Brannen, P.M. 2011. Blueberry necrotic ring blotch, a new blueberry disease caused by a virus. Phytopathology. 101(6):S115.
Technical Abstract: Novel symptoms have been observed on southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum interspecific hybrids) in several southeastern states. Affected plants show irregularly shaped circular spots or blotches with green centers on the top and bottoms of leaves. Diagnostic tests failed to isolate any fungal or bacterial pathogens typically associated with such symptoms. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) was extracted from symptomatic leaves suggesting the presence of virus(es) possibly involved in the disease. Three of five dsRNA segments observed on gels have been sequenced and used to develop diagnostic primers for detection by RT-PCR. More than 50 individual plants that exhibited necrotic ring blotch symptoms in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida were positive in the RT-PCR assay that was developed. The perfect correlation between the virus and symptoms in plants from across several states suggests that the virus, for which we propose the name Blueberry necrotic ring blotch virus (BNRBV), is indeed the causal agent of the disease. Sequence analysis showed that BNRBV has conserved replicase and movement domains characteristic of other ssRNA viruses. Because no coat protein conserved domains have been identified, high throughput sequencing is being used on dsRNA preparations to determine if one of the other two dsRNA bands may code for a coat protein, or if additional virus(es) may be involved in the disease. BNRBV is related most closely to Citrus leprosis virus.