|Authors: ||R.R. MARTIN, S.G. MACDONALD, E.V. PODLECKIS|
Serological and nucleic acid hybridization assays have been used to evaluate the relationship between blueberry scorch virus (BBScV) and other members of the carlavirus group.
Of the established members of the carlavirus group examined, BBScV is most closely related to potato virus S (PVS) and less closely related to carnation latent virus (CLV) and potato virus M (PVM). The difference in host range between BBScV and PVS would indicate that the BBScV is not a strain of PVS but is a separate virus that is related to PVS. Using the same assays to compare a carlavirus isolated from highbush blueberries infected with Sheep Pen Hill associated virus (SPHV) with BBScV showed that these two viruses are closely related and should be considered strains of the same virus.
Sheep Pen Hill virus should be renamed the New Jersey strain of BBScV. It is quite likely that BBScV found in the Pacific Northwest was introduced via infected planting stock from New Jersey since BBScV has not been detected in any of the native vegetation or weeds in or around infected blueberry fields in Oregon or Washington.
Also, the disease caused by this virus appeared in several blueberry fields in Oregon and Washington at about the same time, suggesting movement on planting stock.
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