Ecological studies on potato mop‐top virus in Scotland

R. A.C. Jones, B. D. HARRISON

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Plants with symptoms of potato mop‐top virus (PMTV) occurred in many commercial seed stocks of Arran Pilot and Red Craig's Royal potato in Scotland, but their incidence rarely exceeded 5%. In nuclear stocks of seed potatoes, most varieties examined in 1967 and 1968 were infected at one or more locality, but infected plants did not occur in all clones or at all stages of propagation of any one variety. infection of nuclear stocks resulted both from propagation on virus‐infested land and from unwitting selection of infected plants to start new clones. PMTV was detected in farm soils ranging from light sands to heavy loams, in five Scottish counties. Soil was infested throughout the ploughed layer but the severity of infestation varied greatly within any one field; some sites of former potato clamps were heavily infested. PMTV was detected in field soil 12 years after potatoes were grown. In glasshouse tests many British crop and wild plants were colonized by Spongospora subterranea. Within some families all species tested were moderate to good hosts. (Solanaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Cruciferae), in others, species differed greatly in susceptibility (Compositae and Umbelliferae), and in a few, species were poor hosts or were not infected (Caryophyllaceae and Gramineae). Of the British crop and weed species that were moderate to good zoosporangial hosts of S. subterranea, only Solanum nigrum, potato, spinach and sugar beet were hosts of vector‐borne PMTV. Potato probably survives between potato crops mainly in the resting spores of S. subterranea. PMTV was probably first brought to Europe with potatoes from South or Central America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1972
Externally publishedYes


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