USDA-ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331
USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Lab, Corvallis, Oregon 97330
Yellow veinbanding symptoms have been observed in several mint clones at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) mint collection in Corvallis, Oregon. The most dramatic symptoms are in a “variegated” clone of Mentha × gracilis Sole (NCGR Accession No. MEN-454), which is marketed widely in the nursery industry under cultivar names such as Golden Ginger Mint and Green and Gold. Tucker and Fairbrothers (2) proposed the name Mentha gentilis (= M. × gracilis) L. ‘Variegata’ for forms of this species with a graft transmissible variegation. Doublestranded RNA (dsRNA) was extracted from three mint clones with veinbanding symptoms of varying intensity. The dsRNA from MEN-454 was cloned, and sequences from several clones corresponded to RNA 2 of Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV), a tentative member of the family Sequiviridae. Sequences of additional cDNA clones suggested that two previously unknown viruses and the satellite RNA of SLRSV were also present in MEN-454. On the basis of the sequences of the SLRSV clones, primers F (5′ CCTCTCCAACCTGCTAGACT 3′) and R (5′ AAGCGCATGAAGGTGTAACT 3′) were developed and used in reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to amplify a 497-bp fragment of RNA 2 of SLRSV from MEN-454. No amplicons in RT-PCR tests or dsRNA was obtained from a clone of MEN-454 that was freed of the yellow vein symptom by heat therapy and apical meristem culture. The consensus sequence of cloned dsRNA and sequenced PCR products for SLRSV from MEN-454 has been deposited in GenBank (Accession No. AY 438666). Chenopodium quinoa, inoculated mechanically with leaf extracts from MEN-454, developed chlorosis and apical necrosis that were similar to symptoms reported for SLRSV infection (1). The presence of SLRSV in C. quinoa was confirmed using RT-PCR. Variegated M. × gracilis clones were obtained from wholesale and mail-order nurseries in Maryland, Ohio, and Nebraska. Samples were assayed using RT-PCR utilizing the F and R primers for presence of SLRSV. All samples tested positive for the virus using RT-PCR. Because of the presence of additional viruses, we cannot attribute yellow vein symptoms solely to SLRSV, however the presence of this virus in clones of M. × gracilis ‘Variegata’ from different regions throughout the United States demonstrates that SLRSV is distributed widely in the United States. To our knowledge, this is the first report of SLRSV in mint in North America.
References: (1) K. Schmelzer. Phytopathol. Z. 66:1, 1969. (2) A. O. Tucker and D. E. Fairbrothers. Taxon 21:209, 1972.