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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302110

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Virus Management of Small Fruit Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research Unit

Title: Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)-Scorch

item Martin, Robert
item PSCHEIDT, JAY - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Control Handbook
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2014
Publication Date: 6/8/2014
Citation: Martin, R.R., Pscheidt, J. 2014. Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)-Scorch. Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Blueberry scorch virus (BlScV), which is vectored by aphids, can infect blueberry and cranberry. Once a plant is infected, symptoms may take 1 to 2 years or more to develop. This makes early detection vital for controlling the disease. The virus was first observed in a ‘Berkeley’ blueberry planting near Puyallup, WA in 1980 and was initially observed in western Oregon and Washington (near Puyallup and in Clark County), but not northern Washington or in the Fraser River Valley of British Columbia. A recent outbreak of BlScV with more severe symptoms was reported in British Columbia during the summer of 2000. In New Jersey, 'Sheep Pen Hill Disease' first reported in the 1960’s is now known to be caused by BlScV. The strain of BlScV initially identified in New Jersey causes symptoms in cultivars except 'Jersey', whereas the strains initially identified in Oregon and Washington were symptomless in 'Bluecrop' and 'Duke' as well as several other cultivars. There is a much broader range of BlScV strains in B.C. than in New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, suggesting the virus may have evolved in native hosts in B.C. BlScV was since been found throughout the main blueberry production areas of B.C., all planting material from B.C. should be considered suspect and potentially infected with the virus. Quarantines are in effect for Washington and Oregon to restrict the movement of plants from states where the disease occurs. More recently, the virus has been detected in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Poland.