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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309505

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Blueberry and Cranberry: Utilization of Genomic Resources and Phenotypic/Genotypic Characterization

Location: Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory

Title: First report of blueberry mosaic disease caused by blueberry mosaic associated virus in Kentucky

Author
item WARD GAUTHIER, NICOLE - University Of Kentucky
item Polashock, James
item THEKKE-VEETIL, THANUJA - University Of Arkansas
item Martin, Robert
item BEALE, JULIE - University Of Kentucky

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2014
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61497
Citation: Ward Gauthier, N., Polashock, J.J., Thekke-Veetil, T., Martin, R.R., Beale, J. 2015. First report of blueberry mosaic disease caused by blueberry mosaic associated virus in Kentucky. Plant Disease. 99(3):421.

Interpretive Summary: In 2011, Blueberry plants in Kentucky were found to exhibit symptoms of Blueberry Mosaic Disease (BMD). The symptoms are persistent yellow, green, and red mosaic patterns on leaves. BMD is caused by a virus (Blueberry mosaic associated virus; BlMaV) and was never before reported in Kentucky. Presence of the virus in plants showing the symptoms was confirmed using molecular methods. This is the first confirmed report of BMD, caused by BlMaV in Kentucky. It is important to document the discovery of plant diseases in areas where not previously reported as spread of the disease can impact both commercial growers and residential homeowners.

Technical Abstract: In 2011, a grower in Casey County Kentucky observed persistent yellow, green, and red mosaic patterns on leaves of highbush blueberry plants. Twenty-three randomly-scattered ‘Bluecrop’ plants out of approximately 1,400 5-year-old plants showed symptoms, with coverage ranging from 5% to 100%. Asymptomatic canes bloomed normally and produced normal-looking fruit; affected canes were stunted and did not bloom. These symptoms are generally consistent with those described for Blueberry mosaic disease (BMD). In 2012, leaves from each of five symptomatic plants were tested by RT-PCR for Blueberry Mosaic Associated Virus (BlMaV). All symptomatic samples tested by RT-PCR were positive for BlMaV. No fragments were amplified in the negative controls. To further confirm diagnosis, RT-PCR fragments of viral subgenomic RNA2 and RNA3 were cloned and sequenced. All sequences were consistent with those published for BlMaV. Sequences also nearly matched those obtained from plants in New Jersey exhibiting symptoms of BMD. This is the first report of BMD caused by BlMaV in Kentucky.