Prevalence of Citrus Tristeza Virus in Florida Citrus Nurseries and Scion Groves

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  • 1 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Indian River Research and Education Center, 2199 S. Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945

None of 4190 sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] nursery trees of `Hamlin', `Midsweet', `Navel', and `Valencia' sampled from five Florida citrus nurseries were infected with a decline-inducing isolate of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) as judged by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using isolate-specific monoclonal antibodies. Two of the nurseries had a relatively high level of infection (37% to 100% of composite samples containing tissue from 10 trees) with nondecline-inducing (mild) isolates of CTV, depending on the cultivar. Three of the nurseries had a lower incidence of mild CTV (0% to 22% of 10 tree composite samples). No nursery was CTV-free. ELISA of individual trees used as budwood sources by the nurseries revealed that one tree out of 260 tested contained decline-inducing CTV, and 83 contained mild CTV. These results suggest that the budwood certification program adopted in 1997 has virtually eliminated decline-inducing CTV from commercial budwood supplies.

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