Blueberry scorch virus: a new disease for highbush blueberry in Trentino


Abstract: Blueberry scorch virus (BlScV) is a dangerous disease for blueberry orchards, causingdamages and yield losses in North America. In 2004, it has been found in open fields in Europe(in Piedmont, North-west of Italy). Symptom expression varies according to the blueberrycultivar and the virus strain. Susceptible varieties usually show a rapid flower and twig blight(scorch).During the summer 2009, some highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) plants grownin Trentino Province (North-eastern Italy) showed symptoms usually associated to BlScV and anumber of samples tested positive in specific DAS-ELISA for BlScV. In 2010, the presence ofthe virus was confirmed on V. corymbosum and it was also identified on V. ashei. Sequenceanalysis of the coat protein coding region demonstrated that the strain isolated in Trentino wasdistinct from the strain previously identified in Piedmont and most similar to strains fromWashington State (USA). Control and prophylactic measures were carried out.

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