Potato mop-top virus

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potato leaves infected with the Potato mop-top virus, left: typical symptoms, right: bright yellow symptoms (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Pruthvi Kalyandurg, Jose Fernando Gil, Nina I. Lukhovitskaya, Betty Flores, Giovanna Müller, Carlos Chuquillanqui, Ladislao Palomino, Aderito Monjane, Ian Barker, Jan Kreuze and Eugene I. Savenkov
Source: Molecular Plant Pathology, 2017, vol. 18, p. 866

Potato mop-top virus (PMTV)

The virus infects potato and is found in all potato-growing regions. It is common in cool and wet areas. Its origin is suspected to be South America. The virus is economically important in some areas, especially on seed potatoes, and reduces yield and crop quality. Infected plants show “mop-top” stunting and yellow areas on the leaves. Symptoms on potato tubers are described as “spraing” and consist of rust coloured spots, rings and arcs. Tuber with these symptoms are unmarketable.

The virus is transmitted by the soil-borne fungus Spongospora subterranea which also causes potato powdery scab. The virus can persist in the fungus for several years. It can be also transmitted by planting infected tubers and by grafting. Control relies mainly on the use of disease-free seed tubers. All commercial potato cultivars are susceptible to the disease.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Büscheltriebkrankheit der Kartoffel
• English: Potato mop-top virus
• Français: virus du sommet touffu de la pomme de terre

PMTV is the type member of the genus Pomovirus. It has rod-shaped particles about 100-300 x 20 nm in size and a genome of 3 positive-sensed, single-stranded RNA molecules.