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Viruses of berry crops: Emerging, newly identified, and getting around.
R. R. MARTIN (1). (1) USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Unit, Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.

Perennial crops offer great advantages to viruses in terms of adaptation and evolution since they avoid vector imposed evolutionary bottlenecks. There are 30 genera of plant viruses known to infect berry crops with many of the viruses recently identified. It is likely there will be 4 new virus genera based on these new viruses. There has been a rapid increase in production of blackberry and blueberry in the southeastern U.S. since the mid-1990s, and a lagging but parallel increase in the number viruses of these crops in the region. There are 8 viruses in the region new to blackberry, of which 6 are new to science. One of these is <i>Blackberry virus Y</i>, the type member of the genus <i>Brambyvirus</i>. Also in this region in blueberry, <i>Blueberry necrotic ring blotch virus</i> also new to science is proposed as a new genus, <i>Blunervirus</i>. In the Pacific Northwest, <i>Raspberry latent virus</i>, a novel reovirus has been characterized, for which the genus <i>Raslavirus</i> is proposed, as it is the first known plant reovirus transmitted by aphids. Again in this region, there is a new <i>Caulimovirus</i> in blueberry that has host sequences incorporated into its genome. Since many viruses are symptomless when they occur in single infections in these crops, disease control is the primary objective in fruiting fields rather than virus control. In contrast, virus control is critical in nurseries to minimize the long distance spread of these viruses to new regions, where they may form new virus complexes.

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