Grapevine Viruses and Associated Vectors in Virginia: Survey, Vector Management, and Development of Efficient Grapevine Virus Testing Methods


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Virginia Tech


In order to aid the booming wine industry in the state of Virginia, U.S.A., we developed a series of studies to provide a deeper understanding of the viruses and vectors for management of virus diseases and development of better tools for grapevine virus diagnostics. A statewide survey for 14 different grapevine viruses between 2009 and 2014 was conducted: 721 samples were collected from 116 vineyards in the period. Among the 12 viruses identified, Grapevine leafroll associated virus-3 (GLRaV-3), Grapevine rupestris stem-pitting associated virus (GRSPaV), and Grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) were most commonly present. A new real-time PCR method for the detection of the V2 gene of GRBaV was developed. The resulting method takes less time for more accurate diagnostics than conventional PCR. Evaluation of insecticide effectiveness on GLRaV-3 vectors (mealybugs) and the spread of GLRaV-3 were examined: Four trials conducted from 2012 to 2014 revealed that despite successful control of mealybugs, GLRaV-3 is spread at a very rapid rate. A new sampling technique for efficient nucleic acid storage and testing was developed: the nitrocellulose membrane-based method allows simpler extraction of nucleic acid and provides a storage medium that can hold viable RNA/DNA at room temperature for up to 18 months. An investigation of multiple virus-infected vines and the impact of these co-infections on grapevine fruit chemistry was conducted. GLRaV-3, GRBaV, GRSPaV, and co-infections of the 3 all negatively impacted Brix, pH, titratable acidity, and anthocyanin levels.



Grapevine leafroll disease, Grapevine red blotch associated virus, Nitrocellulose Membranes, real-time PCR, Mealybugs, Grapevines, Virginia