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Detection of Potato mop-top virus in Potato Tubers and Sprouts: Combinations of RNA2 and RNA3 Variants and Incidence of Symptomless Infections

May 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  5
Pages  519 - 531

Satu Latvala-Kilby, Johanna M. Aura, Neda Pupola, Asko Hannukkala, and Jari P. T. Valkonen

First and fourth authors: MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Production Research, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland; second and fifth authors: Plant Pathology Laboratory, Department of Applied Biology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland; and third author: State Plant Protection Service, National Phytosanitary Laboratory, Lielvārdes street 36/38, Riga, LV-1006 Latvia.

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Accepted for publication 2 January 2009.

Potato mop-top virus (PMTV, genus Pomovirus) causes severe quality problems by inducing necrotic arcs (spraing symptoms) in potato tubers. In this study, coat protein (CP) gene and read-through domain of RNA2 and 8K gene and 3′ untranslated region of RNA3 were characterized from 37 PMTV isolates detected in tubers from fields in Finland and a screenhouse in Latvia. Two distinguishable types of RNA2 and RNA3 were found, each showing only little genetic variability. Sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of polymerase chain reaction amplicons indicated that the majority of PMTV isolates infecting tubers comprise restrictotypes RNA2-II and RNA3-B. The incidence of PMTV-infected tubers in 2006 (2007) was 55 (60), 33 (39), and 62 (68)% in cvs. Kardal, Saturna, and Nicola, respectively, grown in the same field in 2006 (2007). Incidence of PMTV-infected tubers that were symptomless was 100 (90)% in Kardal and 88 (44)% in Saturna, and also high in cvs. Bintje (95%) and Van Gogh (63%), tested only in 2006, whereas it was only 12 (2)% in Nicola. Hence, reliance on visual inspection of spraing will miss a large proportion of infected tubers and risk spreading PMTV to new fields in seed tubers. No specific combination of the types of RNA2 and RNA3 was associated with spraing-expressing or symptomless tubers. Using recombinant PMTV CP for comparison, the concentrations of PMTV CP in tuber and sprout tissue were estimated to reach 57 μg/g. Sprout sap interfered less with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay than did tuber sap.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society