Red Ringspot Virus

shazaam(NC 7B)July 7, 2013

I have a potted rabbiteye blueberry (Premier) that I bought from Simmons last spring that would appear to have Red Ringspot Virus. I didn't notice any obvious symptoms last year, but, unlike the other two rabbiteyes that I bought from them, it put out very little new growth. I repotted it this spring and did notice that the root system had filled in quite well. The same pattern of little to no growth has continued this year, and the leaves began to exhibit pronounced red spotting several weeks ago. Here are photos of the fronts and backs of two affected leaves:

The stems are very woody, so it's hard to tell whether or not they have spotting, as well. My reading suggests that rabbiteyes are generally resistant to RRV and that highbush cultivars are more susceptible, so perhaps my I'm mistaken and this is something else? It certainly looks like RRV, though. If it is, I need to decide whether to keep the plant or discard it. There's no shortage of sap sucking insects here, so odds are that, if it was going to be transmitted to my other blueberries, it's already happened. Does anyone have experience with RRV?

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It looks like a match to me. I'd wait for a couple other folks to chime in and then get rid of it. I have never had a virus take over a full planting of anything, quick removal of the affected plants always got me out of trouble.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Ive never read or heard about a rabbiteye getting RRV. I have read about and currently experiencing a rabbiteye not establishing the first year and struggling from then on out. I have a Alapaha that was planted in a raised bed last spring. It struggled from the get go. After pulling and amending the bed its still struggling. I have read that if a rabbiteye does not establish the first year then its going to struggle from then on out. Im seeing this first hand.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:04PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Thanks for your input, guys. I found one study that detected red ringspot in rabbiteye cultivars (linked below), but, like you mentioned blueboy, most everything else that I've read suggests that they're resistant or immune. For now, I think I'll isolate this particular plant and see how it progresses. It's been in close proximity to a variety of highbush cultivars over the last year, though, and, given their susceptibility, I'm a little concerned about them. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Here is a link that might be useful: Molecular Detection and Discrimination of Blueberry Red Ringspot Virus...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:38AM
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