OUTBREAK OF PLUM POX VIRUS IN TUNISIA
M. Boulila, P. Briard, M. Ravelonandro
The appearance of virus-like symptoms in leaves and fruits of Japanese plums in a stone-fruit tree germplasm collection in Tunisia led us to screen them for the presence of known stone-fruit viruses. Chip-budding of dormant bark from suspected plums onto seedlings of the biological indicator GF 305, and subsequent testing of these plants by serological and molecular tests, confirmed the presence of Plum pox virus (PPV) and demonstrated for the first time the occurrence of this virus in Tunisia. The use of monoclonal antibodies and restriction fragment length polymorphism of amplified cDNA identified the virus as belonging to strain D. Two Japanese plums cultivars ‘606’ and ‘Fortune’ were severely affected. Seven other plum cultivars were also infected with PPV.