Submitted to: Journal of Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2015
Publication Date: 6/28/2015
Citation: Cheong, E.J., Kim, C., Kinard, G.R., Li, R. 2015. Evaluation of the virus and viroid infection status of flowering cherry (Prunus yedoensis) collections in Korea and the United States. Journal of Plant Pathology. 97: 155-160.
Interpretive Summary: Prunus yedoensis is a popular ornamental cherry species known for its brilliant spring blossoms. There are prominent and historic plantings of these trees at several locations in Washington, DC and in Korea. They belong to the same genus as fruit production Prunus, such as cherries, peaches, and plums, and are susceptible to infections with detrimental virus and viroid pathogens. In this study we analyzed 334 P. yedoensis trees in Korea and Washington DC for infections by 13 different viruses and 2 viroids. Of these 334 trees, 13 were very old trees growing in the wild on a Korean island. We determined that almost all of the 334 trees were infected with at least one virus and 73% were infected with two or more viruses. The maximum number of viruses detected in any single tree was six. Of particular interest was finding that three of the wild trees were virus infected. All three were proximal to introduced cultivated trees that were infected with the same viruses. It is possible the viruses spread from the cultivated to the wild trees. This research reinforces the importance of producing, maintaining, and distributing virus tested-material. This is essential not only for producing healthy ornamentals, but also to prevent the possible spread of viruses from ornamental to fruit production Prunus trees, and vice versa. This information will be useful to nursery producers, regulatory agencies, and other scientists who specialize in ornamental trees.
Technical Abstract: The virus and viroid infection status of flowering cherry trees (Prunus yedoensis) in prominent ornamental collections in Korea (Seoul, Jinhae, Jeju) and the U.S. (Washington, D.C.) was investigated. A total of 344 trees were tested by conventional RT-PCR for 13 viruses and 2 viroids. Eight viruses were detected in trees sampled from Korea; the same eight along with two additional viruses were found in U.S. trees. Cherry Virus A (CVA) was detected with the highest incidence in samples from both countries, followed by Little Cherry Virus-2 (LChV-2). This study represents the first report of LChV-2, Plum bark necrosis stem pitting associated virus (PBNSPaV), and American plum line pattern virus (APLPV) in Korea. Almost all (96%) of the cultivated trees were infected with at least one virus and 73% were infected with two to six viruses. Especially interesting was the detection of three viruses (CVA, LChV-2 and PBNSPaV) from three different wild trees on Jeju Island. All three infected trees were proximal to cultivated flowering cherry trees that were infected with the same viruses, whereas ten wild trees that were more isolated were virus-free. It is possible that transmission occurred from the cultivated to the wild trees.