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The Diversity of Strawberry latent ringspot virus in New Zealand

May 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  5
Pages  662 - 667

Joe Tang, Lisa I. Ward, and Gerard R. G. Clover, Plant Health and Environment Laboratory, Ministry for Primary Industries, Auckland 1140 New Zealand

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Accepted for publication 4 December 2012.

Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV) is widespread in many countries, especially in Europe. The virus was thought to be uncommon in New Zealand, having only been recorded in Prunus spp. However, this study revealed that SLRSV infects a much wider range of hosts. From 1999 to 2009, SLRSV was isolated from anemone (Anemone × hybrida), blackberry (Rubus spp.), impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), pepino (Solanum muricatum), and tibouchina (Tibouchina sp.) in the North Island of New Zealand. These SLRSV isolates were identified using electron microscopy, mechanical inoculation, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction techniques. This is thought to be the first report of anemone, impatiens, pepino, and tibouchina as hosts of SLRSV. Phylogenetic analysis and host range suggest that the five newly identified New Zealand isolates belong to two distinct strains: blackberry and impatiens isolates represent one strain and the other three isolates, plus the flowering cherry isolate reported previously in New Zealand, represent another strain. Both these strains are distinct from isolates reported elsewhere in the world. The strain infecting blackberry and impatiens is especially different and produced an unusual reaction in mechanical inoculation tests on herbaceous indicators. It is postulated that SLRSV may have gone undetected on its wider host range in New Zealand due to the latent infection in some hosts. The relationship of SLRSV isolates between New Zealand and overseas and the transmission modes of this virus are also discussed.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society