Strawberry necrotic shock virus (SNSV) is an economically important viral pathogen that infects Fragaria and Rubus spp. SNSV was first identified in the 1950s and early studies indicated that SNSV was a strain of Tobacco streak virus (TSV). Recently, it was shown that SNSV was a distinct virus based on molecular characterization (2). Currently, SNSV is a tentative member of the Ilarvirus genus in the Bromoviridae family. In 2008, a small sampling survey for SNSV was done in Heilongjiang Province of China, and 15 strawberry samples were collected from symptomless strawberries in a home garden that had more than 5 years of strawberry cultivation history. Total nucleic acid was extracted from strawberry leaflets by modified cetyltrimethylammoniumbromide methods (3). Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR was operated with the published primer pair CPbeg F/CPend R (2). Amplified DNA fragments with the predicted size were obtained only in one strawberry sample, which was further cloned and sequenced. The sequence (GenBank Accession No. HQ830017) was closely related and highly homologous (89.7 to 98.5% identity) to that of viral isolates (GenBank Accession Nos. AY363228-AY363242) from Fragaria and Rubus spp. Phylogenetic analysis based on nucleotide sequence of the coat protein gene was done with the neighbor-joining method of MEGA 4.0 software. The result showed that all the isolates of SNSV fell into two distinct clades. The Chinese isolate formed one small clade with Japanese isolate 1291. The isolate was also transmitted to Chenopodium quinoa by mechanical inoculation in the greenhouse, and the symptom of chlorotic mottling could be found in C. quinoa and detected by RT-PCR. To determine whether the sample was infected by other strawberry viruses, RT-PCR assays with the published primer pairs SVBVdeta/SVBVdetb, SMoVdeta/SMoVdetb, and SMYEVdeta/SMYEVdetb were also performed for detection of Strawberry vein banding virus, Strawberry mottle virus, and Strawberry mild yellow edge virus using total nucleic acid extracted from the SNSV-positive sample as a template (1). The result indicated that it had been also infected by Strawberry mild yellow edge virus, although no visible symptoms were observed. To our knowledge, this is the first report of SNSV in strawberry in China. Additional work is needed to elucidate the biological characterization and significance of the finding.
References: (1) J. R. Thompson et al. J. Virol. Methods 111:85, 2003. (2) I. E. Tzanetakis et al. Arch. Virol. 149:2001, 2004. (3) H. Y. Yang et al. Acta Hortic. 764:127, 2007.