Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First report of Blueberry red ringspot virus infecting highbush blueberry in Korea.

Abstract

In July 2010, highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) with red ringspots on leaves and circular blotches on ripening fruits was found in one plant of cv. Dke in Pyeongtaek, Korea. The symptoms were similar to red ringspot disease caused by Blueberry red ringspot virus (BBSRV), although stems did not show any characteristic symptoms. Red ringspots on the upper surface of leaves were the most visible symptom and became more prominent as leaves matured in August through October. Leaves of the symptomatic plant were collected and tested for BRRSV infection by PCR, and were also embedded for electron microscopy. BLAST analyses of obtained fragments revealed 91-98% nucleotide sequence identity with the coat protein gene (GenBank Accession No. JQ706341) and 96-98% nucleotide sequence identity with the reverse transcriptase gene (GenBank Accession No. JQ706340) of known BRRV isolates. Electron microscopy of thin sections revealed particles approximately 50 nm diameter within electron-dense inclusion bodies, characteristic of BRRSV. This is thought to be the first report of BRRSV infection of high bush blueberry in Korea. Highbush blueberries are usually propagated by cutting, so BRRSV suspicious plants should be tested with PCR before they are propagated.