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Etiology of Blueberry Shoestring Disease and Some Properties of the Causal Virus. M. S. Lesney, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; D. C. Ramsdell(2), and Mike Sun(3). (2)(3)Associate Professor, and Research Associate of Plant Pathology, respectively, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. Phytopathology 68:295-300. Accepted for publication 21 September 1977. Copyright © 1978 The American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121. All rights reserved.. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-68-295.

Blueberry shoestring virus (BBSSV) was purified from frozen infected blossoms of highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Jersey’, using polyethylene glycol precipitation and differential centrifugation. After two cycles of centrifugation on a linear sucrose gradient the A260/280 ratio was 1.47. The purified virus was inoculated to healthy ‘Jersey’ seedlings and caused typical disease symptoms within 5 or 6 mo. Attempts to transmit the virus to 44 herbaceous indicator species were unsuccessful. Blueberry shoestring virus is an isometric, apparently single-component virus approximately 24 nm in diameter with an estimated sedimentation coefficient of 78.5S (± 3.1). An antiserum to BBSSV with an homologous titer of 1:256 failed to react with 20 other isometric plant viruses. Antisera to 23 other isometric plant viruses also failed to react with purified BBSSV. Mathematical analysis of field data indicated bush-to-bush spread of the disease and gave a compound interest rate “r” value of 0.27/unit/yr.

Additional keywords: purification, electron microscopy, serology.