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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Serial Transmission of Plant Viruses by Cutting During Grafting

item Bausher, Michael

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Grafting of vegetable crops onto horticulturally superior and/or disease/nematode-resistant rootstocks is a common practice in many parts of the world. Serial transmission of plant viruses during the grafting process represents a potential limitation. We completed a series of experiments using common grafting techniques for tomato to investigate transmission of two common tomato-infecting viruses, Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV), on contaminated cutting implements. Although no transmission of TSWV was observed, ToMV was spread during the grafting process. These results have implications for management of virus diseases during grafting.

Technical Abstract: Reciprocal grafts of two tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivars were made by hand using commercial grafting techniques. The razor blade used to cut rootstock or scion was first contaminated by making a single cut on tomato plants infected with either tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) or tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). Although no transmission of TSWV was observed in these experiments, ToMV was spread to plant 28 after razor blade exposure to this virus. The presence of the virus was confirmed by DAS-ELISA at 21 days post inoculation (DPI). The highest rate of infection was 25% of the inoculated plants. The pattern of disease movement was random with gaps of up to 10 plants occurring during serial inoculation before infection resumed. Similar results were observed whether the contaminated implement was used to cut the rootstock or the scion before graft assembly. This work demonstrates the importance of sanitation during grafting, especially with varieties with minimal or no resistance to viral plant pathogens.

Last Modified: 09/25/2017
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