Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Recently, apricot germplasm imported by Moldova from Bulgaria has been found to be infected with a virus which causes no symptoms in apricot trees but causes disease symptoms in peach trees. The pathogen has been termed apricot latent virus (ALV). Because of the potential threat of this virus to the stone fruit industry in the U.S. and other countries, we have initiated a research program to characterize this virus at the molecular level in order to prevent its' introduction to the U.S. through the international movement of germplasm. In our investigations, a small fragment of the viral genome was cloned and sequenced. Nucleotide sequence analysis indicated that the virus is indeed undescribed. Information gained by cloning and sequencing were utilized to develop molecular probes and polymerase chain reaction assays for rapid and sensitive detection of ALV from infected tissue which may have the potential to be utilized in quarantine and certification programs.
Technical Abstract: Molecular hybridization experiments revealed that the genome of the poorly characterized apricot latent virus (ALV), contains nucleotide sequences related to that of apple stem pitting virus (ASPV). Western blot analysis indicated that ALV reacted with polyclonal antiserum against ASPV; however, the viral coat protein was different in size than that of ASPV. Subsequent extraction of double stranded RNA from ALV-infected peach leaves, followed by molecular cloning of synthesized cDNA and its sequencing, demonstrated that ALV is a new virus, whose genome contains ASPV-related sequence at its 3'end. Based on the obtained sequencing data we have designed ALV-specific PCR-primers and developed viral-specific cRNA probe; both diagnostic tools may be useful for virus detection in stone fruits and for the study of its epidemiology and geographical distribution. The sequence has been deposited at the GenBank as accession number AF057035.