Seed‐borne cucumber mosaic virus infection of subterranean clover in Western Australia


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In Western Australia, infection with cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) was widespread in all three subspecies of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) growing in plots belonging to the Australian National Subterranean Clover Improvement Programme. Seed‐borne CMV was detected in seed harvested in 1984–1986 of 18/25 cultivars from two collections of registered cultivars; seed transmission rates ranged up to 8.8%. Seed samples from CMV‐inoculated plants of 11 cultivars transmitted the virus to 0.5–8.7% of seedlings. Seed transmission rates greater than 5% were obtained only with cvs Enfield, Green Range and Nangeela. CMV was not detected in seed harvested in 1975–1981 from one of the registered cultivar collections, in 17 commercial seed stocks from 1986 or in a survey of subterranean clover pastures. Symptoms in subterranean clover naturally infected with CMV included mottle, leaflet downcurling and dwarfing but severity varied with cultivar and selection. CMV isolates from different sources varied in virulence when inoculated to subterranean clover; two (both from subterranean clover) were severe, two moderate and three (including one from subterranean clover) mild. In pot tests, CMV decreased herbage production and root growth (dry wts) of cv. Green Range by 49% and 59% respectively. In spaced‐plants growing in plots, CMV decreased herbage production and root growth of cvs Green Range and Northam by 59–630 and seed production of cv. Green Range by 45%. In rows sown with infected seed, aphid spread increased infection levels to 75% in cv. Green Range and 44% in cv. Esperance and losses in herbage production of 42% and 29% respectively were recorded. CMV isolated from subterranean clover included isolates from both serogroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1990
Externally publishedYes


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