A SURVEY OF CHERRY LEAF ROLL VIRUS IN INTENSIVELY MANAGED GRAFTED ENGLISH PERSIAN WALNUT TREES IN ITALY
L. Ferretti, B. Corsi, L. Luongo, C. Dal Cortivo, A. Belisario
Blackline disease, caused by Cherry leaf roll virus (CLRV), is considered a serious threat limiting English walnut (Juglans regia) production in Italy and the EU if walnut species other than J. regia e.g. ‘Paradox’ hybrid (J. regia × J. hindsii), French hybrid (J. regia × J. major or J. regia × J. nigra) or northern California black walnut (J. hindsii) are used as the rootstock. The virus transmissibility by pollen as well as latent infections can result in the spread of CLRVcontaminated propagative material, which is a major means of the virus dispersal by human activities. In 2014 and 2015 to ascertain the presence and the distribution of blackline symptoms in commercial orchards and to provide a description of the symptomatology, visual inspections and double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) analyses were carried out on 1,684 walnut trees in four different intensively managed grafted English walnut orchards in northeast Italy (Veneto Region). Trees with clear blackline symptoms at the scion-rootstock junction, often associated with general decline of the plant, were found only in one commercial orchard in northeast Italy on trees older than ten years of cvs. ‘Tulare’ and ‘Chandler’, grafted onto ‘Paradox’ rootstock. To our knowledge this is the first report of CLRV (blackline) decline and death in a commercial walnut orchard in Italy.