Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) causes rhizomania in beets. BNYVV is widespread in Europe and can be divided into an A and B group based on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis (1). The vector of BNYVV, Polymyxa betae, is widespread in Denmark. However, surveys for BNYVV have regularly been carried out in Denmark since 1985, but it has not been detected until now. In the autumn of 2000, attention was drawn to a sugar beet field in the southeastern part of Denmark containing plants with unusually low sugar content. Typical BNYVV symptoms of bearded roots were observed on all plants sampled in the field. Root samples of 12 plants all tested positive for the presence of BNYVV by ELISA using antiserum from Adgen, Loewe, and Aschersleben, respectively. Immunosorbent electron microscopy with antiserum to BNYVV coat protein revealed decorated rod-shaped particles of lengths typical for BNYVV. Pulverized infected root tissue was used to mechanically inoculate Chenopodium quinoa and resulted in formation of few local chlorotic lesions. RNA was extracted from symptomatic C. quinoa and subjected to RT-PCR analysis using two primer sets specific for RNA 2 of BNYVV (1) and bands of the expected sizes were observed with both. The nucleotide sequence of a part of the PCR products corresponding to the N-terminus of the coat protein was determined and showed 99.5% identity to sequences derived from A group isolates (1). Finally, a bait-plant test was carried out, where sugar beet seeds were sown in 20 soil samples collected from different locations within the infested field. After 8 weeks of growth, all samples tested positive for the presence of BNYVV by ELISA, indicating that the entire field is infested and that viruliferous P. betae must have been present in several years. To our knowledge, this is the first record of BNYVV in Denmark.
Reference: (1) M. Kruse et al. J. Gen. Virol. 75:1835, 1994.