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Two viruses associated with blueberry scorch disease MacDonald, Stuart Gerald


Blueberry bushes with scorch symptoms were found during a survey of blueberry fields in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Some of these bushes were infected with blueberry scorch virus (BBScV) while others contained a second virus which was sap transmissible to Nicotiana clevelandii, N. benthamiana, and N. tabacum cv. 'Havana 425' . This virus was purified from N. clevelandii and had isometric particles of approximately 30 nm in diameter, a coat protein subunit of 27,500 daltons and a tripartite genome. I was unable to transfer the virus from either infected N. clevelandii or infected blueberry to healthy N. clevelandii with Myzus persicae or Fimbriaphis fimbriata. Serological tests of this blueberry virus with antisera against members of the ilar-, cucumo-, bromo-, or nepovirus groups failed to indicate any relationship. In a subsequent survey using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, this isometric virus was found in blueberry plants from northern Washington state to central Oregon but has not yet been found in B.C. Of the established members of the carlavirus group examined, BBScV is most closely related to potato virus S (PVS) and less closely related to carnation latent virus (CLV) and potato virus M (PVM). The difference in host range between BBScV and PVS would indicate that the BBScV is not a strain of PVS but is a separate virus that is related to PVS. Therefore, BBScV should be renamed blueberry scorch carlavirus (BBSCV). BBSCV was also compared to a carlavirus isolated from blueberry in the Sheep Pen Hill blueberry growing area of New Jersey (referred to as SPHV). These viruses were compared serologically and by use of nucleic acid hybridizations. BBSCV and SPHV were found to be closely related and were concluded to be strains of the same virus. SPHV should be named the New Jersey strain of BBSCV.

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