Submitted to: Rhodora
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: A strawberry species characterized by small size, compact growth habit, multiple crowns and absence of runners was found to be a diseased form of a common wild North American strawberry. When leaves from the compact species, Fragaria multicipita, were grafted onto plants of another strawberry species, Fragaria chiloensis, the latter species gradually developed symptoms of "multiplier disease" which is caused by a mycoplasma-like organism. This paper reports that the strawberry species Fragaria multicipita is only a diseased form of Fragaria virginiana.
Technical Abstract: The distinctive features of Fragaria multicipita Fernald, including small size, multicipital habit, floral aberrations and absence of runners to a greater or lesser degree are symptoms of strawberry multiplier disease resulting from mycoplasma infection. Direct evidence of the disease in F. multicipita plants was obtained through graft inoculation using normal F. chiloensis which developed increasingly pronounced multiplier disease- like symptoms after three months. Habitat, chromosome number and phenotypic traits suggest that F. multicipita is only a diseased form of F. virginiana, despite the stability of its distinctive traits in cultivation and the potential adaptive nature of these traits on cool, undistrubed rivershores. Accordingly, the new combination, Fragaria virginiana Duch. ssp. glauca (S. Wats.) Staudt f. multicipita (Fern.) Catling & Cayouette, is proposed.