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Rose viruses: Understanding the current status and protecting the future of the UK rose sector.

Inés Vázquez Iglesias: Newcastle University/ Fera Science Ltd.

<div>Roses are one of the most important ornamental flowering shrubs grown worldwide and the national flower of England. They contribute £9 billion to the UK economy, however, £40 million are lost due to viral infections. Despite this, rose viruses haven’t been studied in detail since the 1980’s in the UK and, given the plant health risk posed by -<em>Rose rosette virus-</em> RRV, it is necessary to investigate the current phytosanitary status. RRV (Family: <em>Bunyaviridae</em>, Genus: <em>Emaravirus</em>), described for the first time in the 1940s, is transmitted by the eriophyid mite, <em>Phyllocoptes fructiphilus</em> and has been reported in the US and India. The aim is to future proof rose cultivation in the UK. By better understanding the current situation of rose viruses, we can identify the gaps in our knowledge and future plant health priorities, improving response to new and emerging diseases, such as RRV. Recent advances in molecular diagnostics could help to clarify rose viruses taxonomy and to study their aetiology more effectively. To ascertain the current phytosanitary status of UK rose production we are using a combination of target and non-target diagnostic technologies. ELISA and TaqMan® RT-PCR will be used as an initial screening for known viruses. In addition, using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) both symptomatic, virus-negative samples and a sub-set of asymptomatic samples will be tested to try to identify any known and unknown viruses. Preliminary screening results will be presented.</div>