THE EFFECT OF ASPARAGUS VIRUS INFECTION ON THE ROOTING AND SURVIVABILITY OF ASPARAGUS TISSUE CULTURE CLONES.

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  • 1 1Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • | 2 2Department of Plant Science, University of Delaware, Rt. 2, Box 48, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Commercial asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) is currently planted from seed but there is a growing interest in the use of tissue culture clones. The worldwide occurrence of asparagus virus I (AV-I) and asparagus virus II (AV-II) in asparagus production areas has led to an investigation of the effect of these viruses singly and in combination on the propagation of asparagus via tissue culture. Bud explants from field-grown, virus-infected asparagus plants were cultured in-vitro to induce shoots and roots. Explants derived from singly or doubly-infected plants were slow to develop roots and often died in culture. The four virus groups were ranked for the explants' capacity to produce roots and shoots: virus-free > AV-II > AV-I> AV-I and AV-II. Plants derived from explants of AV-II-infected plants exhibited a mild weight reduction after three months in the greenhouse. Greater reductions were associated with AV-I and double infections when compared to healthy controls.

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