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First Report of Blueberry Mosaic Disease Caused by Blueberry mosaic associated virus in Kentucky

N. W. Gauthier, J. J. Polashock, T. T. Veetil, R. R. Martin, J. Beale
Plant disease 2015 v.99 no.3 pp. 421
Vaccinium corymbosum, blueberries, canes, leaves, plant viruses, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sampling, signs and symptoms (plants), viruses, Kentucky, New Jersey
In 2011, a grower in Casey County Kentucky observed persistent yellow, green, and red mosaic patterns on leaves of highbush blueberry plants. Twenty-three randomly-scattered ‘Bluecrop’ plants out of approximately 1,400 5-year-old plants showed symptoms, with coverage ranging from 5% to 100%. Asymptomatic canes bloomed normally and produced normal-looking fruit; affected canes were stunted and did not bloom. These symptoms are generally consistent with those described for Blueberry mosaic disease (BMD). In 2012, leaves from each of five symptomatic plants were tested by RT-PCR for Blueberry Mosaic Associated Virus (BlMaV). All symptomatic samples tested by RT-PCR were positive for BlMaV. No fragments were amplified in the negative controls. To further confirm diagnosis, RT-PCR fragments of viral subgenomic RNA2 and RNA3 were cloned and sequenced. All sequences were consistent with those published for BlMaV. Sequences also nearly matched those obtained from plants in New Jersey exhibiting symptoms of BMD. This is the first report of BMD caused by BlMaV in Kentucky.