Double petunia plants expressing virus-like symptoms were collected in greenhouses and garden centers throughout Ohio in Spring 1997 and 1998 in an effort to determine the frequency and distribution of petunia viruses present in the state. Direct antibody-sandwich and indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were conducted with commercial antisera made against 13 viruses, a potyvirus kit capable of detecting 80 different potyviruses, and our antiserum raised against a tobamo-like virus inducing severe mosaic in double petunia. Viral-associated double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) analysis and light microscopy for detection of inclusion bodies were also carried out. ELISA, dsRNA analysis, and light microscopy revealed the presence of tobacco mosaic tobamovirus, an unknown tobamo-like petunia virus, tomato ringspot nepovirus, tobacco streak ilarvirus, and tobacco ringspot nepovirus. Tomato aspermy cucumovirus, tomato spotted wilt tospovirus, impatiens necrotic spot tospovirus, alfalfa mosaic virus, cucumber mosaic cucumovirus, potato virus X potexvirus, and chrysanthemum B carlavirus were not detected. No potyviruses were identified. A number of plants with virus-like symptoms tested negative for all viruses.
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