Viral twig necrosis of sweet cherry. Modes of transmission and spread of petunia asteroid mosaic virus (PeAMV)

E. Pfeilstetter, L. Kunze, V. Zinkernagel

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2 Scopus citations


Grafting symptomless scions, derived from petunia asteroid mosaic virus (PeAMV)-infected trees, to healthy rootstocks resulted in only 3.3% infection in the resulting trees. Up to 90% of seeds from infected sweet cherries contained high quantities of PeAMV, but the virus was not transmitted to the seedlings apparently because of low virus content in the embryo and loss of infectivity during seed maturation and storage. Replanting healthy cherry trees cv. Sam, grafted to different rootstocks, into contaminated soils resulted in new infections. Eight of 13 trees on rootstocks derived from Prunus avium (F 12/1 and cv. Sam on its own roots) were infected with PeAMV within a period of four years but only one of 16 trees on Weiroot-rootstocks (selections from Prunus cerasus) became infected. The detection of PeAMV in naturally contaminated soil samples by the bait plant procedure, using Nicotiana clevelandii, was superior to testing soil eluates by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immuno electron microscopy (IEM). Wild plants may contribute to virus propagation and maintenance of virus contamination of the soil as 25 of 310 samples from 712 herbaceous plants growing in the vicinity of infected trees contained PeAMV; the contaminated samples represented 12 species. The perpetuation of PeAMV by infected scion wood is probably of minor significance, and infection via the soil probably represents the most important means of spread of vital twig necrosis in northern Bavaria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-301
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996


  • Petunia asteroid mosaic virus
  • seed transmission
  • soil
  • sweet cherry
  • tombusvirus
  • viral twig necrosis
  • wild plants


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