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First Report of Blueberry red ringspot virus Infecting Highbush Blueberry in Korea

July 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  7
Pages  1,074.2 - 1,074.2

I. S. Cho, B. N. Chung, J. D. Cho, and G. S. Choi, Horticultural and Herbal Crop Environment Division, National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-440, Korea; and H. S. Lim, Department of Applied Biology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea

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Accepted for publication 17 April 2012.

Blueberry red ringspot virus (BRRSV) of the Soymovirus genus in the family Caulimovididae causes red ringspot diseases in highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) on leaves, stems, and fruits. The virus has been identified in the United States, Japan, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Poland (1). In July 2010, highbush blueberry with red ringspots on leaves and circular blotches on ripening fruits was found in one plant of cv. Duke in Pyeongtaek, Korea. The symptoms were similar to red ringspot disease caused by BRRSV (3), although stems did not show any characteristic symptoms. Red ringspots on the upper surface of leaves were the most visible symptom and became more prominent as leaves matured in August through October. Leaves of the symptomatic plant were collected and tested for BRRSV infection by PCR, and were also embedded for electron microscopy. DNA was extracted from leaves using DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (Qiagen, Valencia, CA) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Primer pairs BR1512F/BR2377R (5′-ACAGGACGATTAGAAGATGG-3′/5′-CCTTTAGGGCAATATTTCTG-3′, amplifying a fragment of the coat protein region with an expected size of 865 bp) and BR2961F/BR3726R (5′-ACCGATACATCACAGTTCAC-3′/5′-TGGTTGTGATAAGATGATTCC-3′, amplifying a fragment of the reverse transcriptase region with an expected size of 766 bp) were used to amplify the indicated region of BRRV in PCR. Primers were designed on the basis of the BRRSV isolate from New Jersey (GenBank Accession No. AF404509). DNA fragments of the expected sizes were obtained from the symptomatic plant, while no amplification products were obtained from highbush blueberry without symptoms. The PCR products were cloned into pGEM-T easy vector (Promega, Madison, WI) and sequenced. BLAST analyses of obtained fragments revealed 91 to 98% nucleotide sequence identity with the coat protein gene (GenBank Accession No. JQ706341) and 96 to 98% nucleotide sequence identity with the reverse transcriptase gene (GenBank Accession No. JQ706340) of known BRRV isolates. Electron microscopy of thin sections revealed particles approximately 50 nm diameter within electron-dense inclusion bodies, characteristic of BRRSV (2) To our knowledge, this is the first report of BRRSV infection of highbush blueberry in Korea. Highbush blueberries are usually propagated by cutting, so BRRSV suspicious plants should be tested with PCR before they are propagated.

References: (1) E. Kalinowska et al. Virus Genes. DOI 10.1007/s11262-011-0679-4, 2011. (2) K. S. Kim et al. Phytopathology 71:673, 1981. (3) M. Isogai et al. J. Gen. Plant Pathol. 75:140, 2009.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society