Transmission of Prunus Necrotic Ringspot into Three Peach Scion Cultivars, Measured by RNA Hybridization following in Vitro Micrografting

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  • 1 1Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
  • | 2 2Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350

As part of our program to develop transgenic peach cultivars with improved disease resistance, we showed that grafting of in vitro cultured `Suncrest' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] tips `onto decapitated stems of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV) infected `Suncrest' shoot cultures, resulted in consistent transfer of virus across grafts as demonstrated by RNA hybridization analysis, suggesting that such a system could be useful for measuring resistance to PNRSV in peach shoot cultures. We have extended these studies to include grafts of `Springcrest' and `Nemaguard' test tips onto `Suncrest' stocks. RNA hybridization analysis showed that PNRSV persists in shoot cultures for 18 months after initiation from PNRSV-infected `Suncrest' trees and after 16 weeks of treatment of 4°C in the dark, suggesting that a supply of infected shoot cultures could be maintained for repeated use. Graft success rates for grafts of `Springcrest' onto `Suncrest' and `Nemaguard' onto `Suncrest', equaled or exceeded success rates for `Suncrest' onto `Suncrest'. Virus was transmitted from infected stocks into `Suncrest', `Springcrest', and `Nemaguard' test tips by 2 weeks in most successful micrografts. There was no significant difference in the virus concentrations among the three scions at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after grafting, suggesting that there is equal efficacy of virus transfer through grafts from `Suncrest' to the three cultivars, and that no differences in resistance to PNRSV exist among these cultivars.

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