Vlastimila Špaková, and
Karel Petrzik, Biology Centre v.v.i., Institute of Plant Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
To determine the roles of phytoplasmas and Blackcurrant reversion virus (BRV) in the etiology of full blossom disease (FBD), we conducted graft and dodder transmission experiments. Scions from FBD-affected Ribes rubrum were grafted onto red currants, white currants, and black currants. Red and white cultivars revealed symptoms of FBD, whereas blackcurrant displayed symptoms of BRV. No differences in symptoms were observed between plants infected with BRV only and those infected with BRV and phytoplasma. Aster yellows phytoplasma subgroup 16SrI-C was transferred from FBD-infected red currants to periwinkle, where symptoms of green and yellow petal were observed. Back-transmission of phytoplasma to currant seedlings of red and black currant was not successful. Scions of periwinkle infected with aster yellows phytoplasmas of subgroup 16SrI-C and 16SrI-B, which were bottle-, bark-, and approach-grafted onto seedlings of red and black currant, resulted in positive but symptomless transmission of phytoplasma to red currant. We conclude that FBD symptoms are induced by BRV rather than by phytoplasma, which was originally described as the causal agent of FBD.