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Overview of Tobacco streak virus and Blueberry shock virus in cranberry

Abstract: Tobacco streak virus (TSV) and Blueberry shock virus (BlShV) are associated with berry scarring symptoms in cranberries in several growing regions. The scarring symptoms associated with TSV and BlShV are identical, and the cause can only be distinguished when samples are tested for these viruses. Cranberry plants infected with TSV or BlShV recovered from symptoms the year after berry scarring occurred, but continued to test positive for the respective virus. Fruit set and berry weight were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) in symptomatic, virus-positive cranberry plants, but recovered plants yielded comparably to healthy plants. Both viruses are systemic and can be detected in all plant parts. However, both viruses are unevenly distributed in plants, which can affect virus detection and transmission. BlShV is detected in cranberry pollen and seedlings, while TSV is detected only in pollen and not seedlings. Detection of these viruses in pollen suggests that pollen is a potential source of inoculum for the spread of these viruses. However, artificial inoculation of cranberry flowers by pollination did not result in disease transmission of either virus. Unlike BlShV, which is found only on one other host (i.e., blueberry), TSV has a wide host range. Phylogenetic analysis of the coat protein of isolates of TSV revealed variability among strains both within and between growing regions. BlShV on cranberry was relatively less variable, but did not indicate grouping by growing regions. Additionally, the coat protein of BlShV from cranberry shared only 90% identity compared to BlShV on blueberry, suggesting different strains on the two hosts. Although the immediate effect(s) of TSV and BlShV on cranberry seem to be minimal, the potential long-term effect(s) of these viruses, alone or in mixed infections with other viruses, remain unknown.
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