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Partial Characterization of a Closterovirus Associated with Apple Mealybug-Transmitted Little Cherry Disease in North America

March 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  3
Pages  268 - 273

K. C. Eastwell and M. G. Bernardy

First author: Washington State University-IAREC, Prosser 99350; and second author: Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, British Columbia V0H 1Z0

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Accepted for publication 11 November 2000.

Little cherry disease (LChD) is a serious economic problem of sweet cherry production in western North America where apple mealybug is the principle vector. LChD is associated with a distinct species of double-stranded (ds) RNA. In this study, filamentous virus particles were purified from LChD-infected trees and shown to contain single-stranded RNA corresponding to the previously reported dsRNA isolated from infected trees. The virus particles were characterized and were similar to monopartite members of the genus Closterovirus. A portion of the genome was sequenced and found to be most closely related to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus-3, a mealybug-transmitted closterovirus. The characteristics of the mealybug-transmitted Little cherry virus in North America are very different from those of a closterovirus associated with a similar disease in Europe.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society