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First Record of Hop stunt viroid in Canada

October 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  10
Pages  1,162.1 - 1,162.1

R. Michelutti , Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Harrow, Ontario N0R 1G0 Canada ; M. Al Rwahnih , Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo, I-70010, Valenzano, Bari, Italy ; H. Torres and G. Gomez , Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia-CSIC, 46022, Valencia, Spain ; M. Luffman , Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Harrow, Ontario N0R 1G0 Canada ; A. Myrta , Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo, I-70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy ; and V. Pallás , Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia-CSIC, 46022 Valencia, Spain

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Accepted for publication 30 July 2004.

“Tissue-printing” hybridization (3) for Peach latent mosaic viroid (PLMVd) and Hop stunt viroid (HSVd) was used to assess the sanitary status of stone fruit accessions in the Canadian Clonal Genebank (CCG) located in Harrow (Ontario). The Prunus spp. accessions in the CCG are primarily of Canadian origin; other countries of origin include the United States, the United Kingdom, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Former Soviet Union, Spain, New Zealand, and Italy. All Prunus spp. accessions were donated to the Genebank from Canadian or American sources. Leaves were harvested in November 2003 from 336 trees (116 peach and nectarine, 84 sweet and sour cherries, 54 plum, 44 apricot, and 38 of other cherries) representing 267 accessions. No visible symptoms were observed during the collection of the accessions to be evaluated. The petioles were excised at the base and imprinted on a nylon membrane in triplicate for each sample. The membranes were air dried and submitted by mail to the laboratory. The digoxigenin-labeled riboprobes used for hybridization were obtained by T7 RNA polymerase transcription of the linearized plasmids pHSVd (1) and pPLMVd (2). Thirty stone fruit samples were infected by viroids. PLMVd occurred in 28 peach and nectarine samples, representing the following cultivars and selections: Harblaze Hardired, Harko, Earlyvee, Harbelle, Harken, Harland, Harrow Beauty, Harrow Rubirose, HW264, Redhaven, Silver Gold, Suncling, V68101, Vanity, Veeglo, Velvet, Vesper, Villa Doria, and Vulcan. PLMVd-infected samples represented 24.1% of the tested peaches and nectarines. PLMVd finding confirms previous reports of the viroid in Canada from British Columbia and Ontario. Two CCG apricot accessions, ‘Bulida’ and ‘Velkopavlovicka’, were found to be infected with only HSVd, representing 4.5% of tested apricot samples. These samples, determined to be positive by tissue-printing hybridization, were also positive by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (1). In addition, nucleotide sequences of the PCR products were obtained. The ‘Bulida’ isolate showed 100% homology to a Spanish isolate, apr9, while the ‘Velkopavlovicka’ isolate showed 99% homology to an Italian isolate. Since HSVd has not been previously reported in Canada (4), to our knowledge, this report documents its first detection in the country. This report may prompt the inclusion of regular testing for HSVd in existing Prunus spp. virus testing programs in Canada.

References: (1) N. Astruc et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 102:837, 1996. (2) M. Badenes et al. Acta Hortic. 472:565, 2001. (3) V. Pallás et al. Page 135 in: Virus and Virus-Like Diseases of Stone Fruits, with Particular Reference to the Mediterranean Region. A. Myrta et al., eds. CIHEAM-IAMB, 2003. (4) R. Singh et al. Page 255 in: Viroids. A. Hadidi et al., eds. CSIRO Publishing, Australia, 2003.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society