Bulbs and viruses (the 2011 season)

kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)November 21, 2010

Just an FYI...as we are starting to enjoy the blooms of our new bulbs, and many of the plants won't have leaves for a while....nearly all of the leaves/bulbs in the big communal pot of Bellisimo, Alfresco, Baby Doll and Fanfare are showing signs of mosaic virus.

Since I feel like I got some of the first bulbs and forced them to bloom over 1 month ago for my demo talk, I'd let you know that it seems like the virus has hit some of the growers in Holland. Since I ordered 100 bulbs and they came to me in growers bags/boxes....I think we are looking at a big problems. SO...for those of you who are burning bulbs, get the Kleenex out now!! It's not going to be pretty!

I have just received my more "high end" bulbs, and am being very careful with them. The affected pot was kept on the other side of the house, and as the leave emerge, they are looking very "mosaic stricken". The precious new bulbs are coming right into the house...no sucking insects there (unless you count the setters...they are "bugs" that eat anything)!

FYI...those on the list that bought bulbs from me are getting their checks back - Nothing has been shipped yet as I was waiting for this week's cool down! This whole thing makes me very sad...and makes me more driven to see what (if anything) I can do to reduce the viral load. At least I have more sacraficial bulbs! I'd rather kill a $4 bulb than something pricier.

SIGH...Kristi

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dondeldux

Kristi, This is devastating news. Could you please post pictures of the leaves, as I've not yet seen new bulbs with new leaves show these signs yet, just older bulbs with older leaves that have been growing outside for the summer. I was wondering as I'm sure others have wondered also how long it would take for the signs to appear... Please post pictures, and I am going to check my new bulbs leaves right now...again, I am so sorry, I guess this problem is not going away anytime soon....

Donna

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 3:45PM
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joshy46013

Kristi,

Hadeco has a very strict regimen of their plant quality, apparently they test plants for virus and they claim most of their hybrids are disease resistant. They also claim that they TC their stock to ensure it is disease free. I'm not actually sure how much stock you can put into that, I've been really paying attention to my bulbs and luckily I haven't noticed any signs, this doesn't mean virus isn't there tho.. Kristi, maybe you should contact them to see what they'll say! Send pictures, you should post some here as well like Donna suggested!

Donna, bulbs can show symptoms at any time whether they're newly growing or on the verge of dormancy.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 4:39PM
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joshy46013

I found this paragraph on their website

"To ensure the highest standard in plant breeding, Hadeco produces virus-free mother stock in its laboratory using the Meristem tip culture tissue process. The healthy plants produced in this way are mass-produced through tissue culture."

This was posted under their "Research And Development"

Here is a link that might be useful: Hadeco

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 4:44PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Sure....went out and snapped a few quick shots. Tell me what you think...have to start out on a "happy" note... my bargain LADY JANE...stunted, but lovely! (and a little fuzzy)

Here are some leaves. Bulbs started blooming 10/14. They were planted the 3rd week of September, so these are about 2 months from planting.
UGH!
K






Now that I see the red bumps...I am hopeful that it's something less distressing than virus. Looking at the leaves up close...I'm note sure anymore!>THOUGHTS?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 5:26PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Well Josh and all, I'm not sure these are virus. Might be mites or thrips or??? But, whatever care Hadeco takes may not extend into the hands of their growers who grow the bulbs out to selling/blooming size in the fields. I didn't order the bulbs directly from Hadeco...well...I'm just wondering what good virus-free stock is if some sucking bug comes along and infects the plant. Hadeco has no control over that.

Would be interested to know if any grower/distributor/reseller guarantees their bulbs to be virus-free.
K

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 5:48PM
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joshy46013

Kristi, who I order my bulbs come directly from Hadeco to their hands to mine.

I don't really think this looks to be virus either, I'm thinking mites as well, look around for mealy bugs! I just found mealy bugs on my Hippeastrum mandonii, I am SO happy that I didn't throw it away!!!!!!!

Kristi, inspect the bulb thoroughly and see if you can find any little bugs!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:17PM
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dondeldux

You might also try a systemic insecticide and see if any further leaves grow out spotted....with a little bit of luck, it'll be insects..!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:24PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I have never ever had this problem before...and used new soil (not a new kind...I mean "virgin" soil) when I potted these up. Since I've never had thrips, mites, mealy bugs, etc...this is all new to me. Are the bulbs in the fridge infected, or are they safe to share??

THOUGHTS?
K

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:52PM
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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

I hope your little red/brown spots means there is something besides a virus causing the leaf discoloration. These don't quite look like mine that that definitely had a virus (confirmed by electron microscopy). If you have hundreds of bulbs it might be worth $50 to get one tested.
Ruth

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:54PM
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joshy46013

Kristi,

The bulbs in the fridge I'd assume would be okay, just anyone who got them should probably spritz them from time to time! I've only found mealy bugs on my H. mandonii, I'm not sure where they come from! Mealy bugs look like white caterpillars but very small! Look around the neck of the bulbs especially!

Josh

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 7:09PM
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ajsblu_eyes(9)

I agree with everyone about it being bugs. I've had similar trouble in the past.

A few things I have done:

1. Separate possible infected bulbs from all the rest of the bulbs.
2. Remove excess dry bulb outer layers/scales (bugs tend to hide in them)
3. Thoroughly water the bulb... wait and watch the dirt and bulb (watch for little bugs fleeing the water on the bulb, dirt and edges of the pot)
4. Spray thoroughly with a powerful insecticide that kills thrips or other possible evil bugs you have. (Spray the dirt, bulb, leaves, and pot edges...it is better to be generous with the insecticide)
5. Repeat steps 2-4 at least once a week. If possible use two different insecticides and swap which you use each week. This long process is to kill the adult bugs and the eggs of bugs.

Continue the process till:
1. You do not see the bugs fleeing when you water.
2. Repeat the process at least 3 times (three weeks) if not more.

Alternatives (these can be expensive):
1. Use good Nematodes to kill the eggs of thips.
2. Use pirate bugs (yes that is the name of the bug) to kill the adult thrips.

Side notes: organic insecticides have not worked for me.

Sorry if this is overly long and preachy. I am only sharing what I myself have done and found out by researching this problem.

AJ

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:23PM
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Noni Morrison

I have decided that mine that look like this are insect bit...don't know what kind but I think it is not a big problem unless they are spreading viruses that way. NO sign of them on most. I did have a couple of Maguire's with what I am pretty sure is virus. The pattern in the leaves was square like Mosaic tiles, rather then blotched like this.

Anyhow, I isolated the questionable ones in my old workroom under lights so I can observe. The obviously mosaic ones were removed..
Perhaps you could send in one leaf for testing to the place that other scientist did? Do you have room to grow your "For sale" ones while you have the testing done?

The other thing I would suggest is to look at a leaf under a strong magnifying lens and look for insect bites where it is discolored.

Hope it is just nusiancy bugs.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 11:11PM
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haweha

These symptoms do not suggest an infection with mosaic.
I observed that the first unmistakeable color segregations become visible in the uppermost part of the leaves.

Interestingly, the bare bulbs that I purchased in the past were all healthy (in this regard) and so were the DIP Hippeastrums that I would obtain these as potted plants. Mosaic infected bulbs were exclusively potted TETs. For example "Salmon" and "Intokazi" that I remind to have to regretfully DISCARD them on the spot once that I got awareness.

BUT this reminds me of another interesting observation: I used the pollen of both specimens to dust my own hybrid "PapDon2" (in 2006) and none of the respective seedlings show mosaic.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 5:31AM
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haweha

Sorry; can't edit. SO replace

and so were the DIP Hippeastrums that I would obtain these as potted plants

by

"and so were the DIP Hippeastrums that I would obtain as potted plants"

(namely, FREE from mosaic virus)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 5:36AM
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blancawing

Dear Hans,

Your English is really very good and what you meant to say was clear AND quite interesting.

Before reading your observation, I thought that using pollen from Hippeastrum bulbs, which are infected with Mosaic Virus, could transmit the virus to uninfected pollen recipients (i.e., seed parents).

Fortunately, I have never seen signs of MV in any of my bulbs. However, I do battle pesky mealy bugs. At least, they are controllable with persistence.

Cheers,

Blanca

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:18AM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

How can one tell which ploidy a given bulb is? Because I'm seeing mosaic in several bulbs myself and suspect the virus but would like to test this ploidy observation Hans has noted.

Denver Ryan (I think I may be TET ploidy LOL)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 9:34AM
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joshy46013

Hans,

Blanca is correct, using pollen from a virus containing plant can transmit the virus to the seed parent. Virus doesn't cross into the embryo of the seed, not until it's transferred once germinated by dirty potting medium, insects, tools or hands. It is best that the virused plant be the seed parent to avoid transmission.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:36AM
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haweha

Thank you Blanca!

To the timepoint that I used the pollen of these two knight Star lilies I did not even know that they were infected. Luckily the mother bulb of "PapDon2" that I pollinated with these both kinds of "potentially infected" pollen did not become infected... OR, be it that PapDon2 is simply "resistant" Idk! *g*
I simply report what I observed. This might ADD to already existing- and/or further suggestions from others, in order to perhaps eventually provide a suggestion that is with likeliness accurate and correct. Upto now, I did not recommend anything in this very regard, but to discard any mosaic-ed bulb ASAP.
What I can loud- and clearly say is, that mosaic is not very contagious, that this strictly applies but for indoors' conditions IOW: Without consideration of APHIDS.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 1:15PM
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haweha

1)AFAIK tetraploidy is lethal in humans!
2)"Perceiving" Ploidiy at least the prediction therof, with some likeliness - I am still musing as HOW to depict!
3)I just perceive... namely that I have become INFECTED, yes on myself not by mosaic !heaven forbid! but from ABBREVERITIS sorry for that,
idk=I dunno; asap= as soon as possible; iow=in other words

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 1:29PM
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dondeldux

And...another insect that we all have from time to time in our bulbs and seedlings grown indoors is our nemesis the fungus gnat!!

Donna

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 4:07PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

I thought fungus gnats only ate dead matter. Am I incorrect in this? If so, I'm totally screwed.

Ryan

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 5:51PM
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dondeldux

Geez, I thought they would gnaw at the roots of seedlings, hope I'm wrong.....do they??

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 6:21PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

Donna I'm sure they. LOL Thats been my luck lately with containing this suspected MV.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:16PM
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haweha

"Fungus" Gnats not only consume roots and the lower part of the first leaf of seedlings if it is under soil level, but they can literally drill themselves into the tiny basal plate of seedlings, causing the bulbs to die. Although I cannot remember any era that I had absolutely no gnats around, I have never had a mosaic infected seedling.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:46PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

Thanks Hans. Fortunately, I grow my plants in hydroton, which means a good dunk of the pot can lay waste to anything living in the stones. Problem is, these things are generational and survivors can carry on the dirty work.

fighting MV is like beating back the sea with a broom or catching smoke.

Ryan

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:54PM
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joshy46013

I don't think fungus gnats bore into bulbs, there are two types of flies that bore into the basal plate of bulbs the Narcissus Bulb Fly "Merodon equestris" and The Lesser Bulb Fly "Eumerus tuberculatus", fungus gnats primarily feed on dead root or plant material, occasionally they feed on tender roots. They can multiply fast, the best thing to do is water with Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis, it will kill gnats and larvae without harming the affected plants :)

Josh

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 8:44PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

Josh I believe this is what they use in gnatrol, no? I'm at work so I dont' have the label in front of me, but this is what I use to control an outbreak. You see a pretty quick result, too. The fly population goes down quickly and the gnatrol water doesn't smell at all and is harmless to people and pets.

Denver Ryan

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:05PM
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npublici(Zephyrhills,Fl)

Kristi I don't see any mosaic symptoms on your pictured leaves. hat is not to say that you will not later see an epidemic of mosaic, if you had a single bulb infected with it,because of the large number of possible transferences through a biting, sucking insect.(the "T" I typed did not take and GW won't let me insert it,for some reason.)I sincerely hope you don't have it. It is a heartbreaker-and expensive.
Look on my npublici photo display at Pb. I have a Mosaic file started there.
Del

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:34PM
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joshy46013

Ryan,

Yes, it's Gnatrol! It's harmless for your plants, that's why it's so wonderful!!!!!!! I think it would be good to use frequently to keep NBF at bay! It does work quickly as well ;)

Josh

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:38PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

Josh I use it every other watering during the inside growing months and on occasion if I see them during the outside growing months. I will remember to hit all the plants really well a few weeks before bringing everyone inside to hopefully fend off an invasion come Fall.

I haaaaaate gnats.

DR

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 11:12PM
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joshy46013

DR,

I'd really like to talk to you about your cultivation, I'm really interested in the Hydroponic stuff, it seems much cleaner!

Josh

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 11:33PM
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haweha

...can literally drill themselves into the tiny basal plate of seedlings

How come... you doubt the observation that I witnessed this with my own eyes - this defies my comprehension... *g*

The fact that the maggot of the big narcissus fly, Merodon species invades through the basal plate, generally of considerably bigger bulbs, but sometimes of tiny bulbs such as cherry-sized knight star lily seedling bulbs or even snowdrops Galanthus also, does not contradict an analogous action by the larvae of fungus gnats.
I even retrieved an official warning about the possible impact of these insects, as regards the commercial propagation of plants, where it was explicitly mentioned that the maggots of fungus gnats drill themselves into CUTTINGS.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:34AM
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