Bark chips from six container-grown citrus trees, infected with nondecline-inducing citrus tristeza virus (CTV) isolates and maintained in a vector-free greenhouse for 10 years, 15 commercial grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) trees, and 16 commercial sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees were used to inoculate three indicator plants each of `Madam Vinous' sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck], sour orange (C. aurantium L.), `Duncan' grapefruit (C. paradisi Macf.), `Mexican' lime [C. aurantifolia (Christm.)], Swingle citrumelo [C. paradisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliota (L.) Raf.], and sour orange grafted with `Hamlin' sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck]. All plants providing bark chips had repeatedly tested positive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for CTV [reacted with monoclonal antibody (MAb) 17G11], but tested negative for Florida decline-inducing isolates of CTV (did not react with MAb MCA13). After 6 months in vector-free greenhouses, all in oculated trees (except Swingle citrumelo, which is considered CTV resistant) were positive for CTV by 17G11 ELISA. In addition, some indicator plants inoculated from nine (two container, two commercial grapefruit, and five commercial orange trees) of the 37 bark chip source trees also were positive for decline-inducing CTV by MCA13 ELISA. Some of these positive indicators also showed vein-clearing symptoms characteristic of infection with a severe isolate of CTV. No control, noninoculated indicators in the same greenhouse, became infected with either decline-inducing or nondecline-inducing CTV. These results indicate that decline-inducing isolates of CTV can be present as a minor component of a mixture at levels undetectable by ELISA, and that these decline-inducing isolates can become detectable by ELISA and sometimes by symptoms when inoculated into indicator plants.
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