OCCURRENCE OF TOMATO RINGSPOT VIRUS AND TOBACCO RINGSPOT VIRUS IN HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY IN NEW YORK STATE
M. Fuchs, G.S. Abawi, P. Marsella-Herrick, R. Cox, K.D. Cox, J.E. Carroll, R.R. Martin
A survey for viruses by DAS-ELISA of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) showing viruslike symptoms and decline in vigor, showed the occurrence of Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV) and Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV) in New York State (USA). The presence of the two viruses was confirmed in leaf samples by RT-PCR and IC-RT-PCR with appropriate primer pairs that amplify a 320 bp and a 585 bp fragment of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene of TRSV and ToRSV, respectively. Comparative sequence analysis of viral amplicons of New York isolates indicated moderate (80.7-99.7%) and high (90.8-99.7%) nucleotide sequence identities with other ToRSV and TRSV strains, respectively. Analysis of soil samples from the root zone of blueberry bushes for the occurrence of dagger nematodes revealed the presence of Xiphinema americanum-group nematodes at low population densities. Cucumber bait plants potted in soil samples containing X. americanum became infected with ToRSV or TRSV in a greenhouse. Together, these findings show the occurrence of ToRSV and, to a lesser extent, TRSV in highbush blueberry plantings in New York, as well as of the vector X. americanum sensu lato.