Skip to main content

Detection, distribution and control of Potato mop-top virus, a soil-borne virus, in northern Europe

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Potato mop-top virus (PMTV; genus Pomovirus; family Virgaviridae) is transmitted by the soil-borne Spongospora subterranea f.sp. subterranea, a protoctist that causes powdery scab on potato. PMTV is distributed widely in the potato growing areas in South and North America, Japan and northwestern Europe. This article reviews the current knowledge on detection, distribution and control of PMTV with focus on the Baltic Sea region. Since the 1980s, PMTV has caused great economic losses to potato production in the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland), but its occurrence in other countries of the Baltic Sea region remained unknown. To fill this knowledge gap, harmonised sampling and virus detection procedures including bioassays and serological and molecular methods were employed by 21 research institutions to detect PMTV in potato tubers and soil samples in 2005–2008. Potato growing areas were widely contaminated with PMTV in the Nordic countries. Only the main seed potato production area in northern Sweden and the High Grade seed potato production zone in Finland were negative for PMTV. Intensive and systematic surveys in Poland in 2004–2008 found no evidence of PMTV, except a single PMTV-infected tuber detected in 2008. Surveys in the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) and northwestern Russia (Leningrad province) were negative for PMTV, except infection of minitubers in a screenhouse in Latvia in 2005. Varying percentages of tubers expressing spraing symptoms in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland were infected with Tobacco rattle virus, and bioassays indicated similar results for Russia. Incidence of symptomless infections with PMTV was high in tubers of many potato cultivars. Here, we discuss the contrasting patterns of distribution of PMTV in the Baltic Sea region, factors playing a role in dispersal and establishment of PMTV in new fields and means for controlling PMTV and its spread to new areas. We emphasise the use of the current virus-specific methods for the detection of PMTV in symptomless potato tubers and the high risks of disseminating PMTV to new fields and areas in viruliferous resting spores of S. subterranea in the soil adhering to seed tubers. PMTV-resistant potato cultivars will provide the only sustainable means for preventing yield losses in the infested fields and the prospects of resistance breeding are summarised.

Keywords: Baltic Sea region; Potato mop-top virus; Solanum tuberosum; Spongospora subterranea; Tobacco rattle virus; soil-borne virus; virus diagnostics; virus resistance

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland 2: MTT Agrifood Research, Jokioinen, Finland 3: Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Seed Certification Unit, Loimaa, Finland 4: Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden 5: Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden 6: Graminor AS, Hamar, Norway 7: Bioforsk Plant Health, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Ås, Norway 8: Department of Integrated Pest Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Slagelse, Denmark 9: Danish Potato Breeding Foundation, Vandel, Denmark 10: Plant Protection Institute – National Research Institute (IOR-PIB), Poznan, Poland 11: Department of Potato Genetics and Parental Lines, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (IHAR), Młochów, Poland 12: State Plant Protection Service, Vilnius, Lithuania 13: State Plant Protection Service, National Phytosanitary Laboratory, Riga, Latvia 14: Department of Gene Technology, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia 15: Department of Plant Biotechnology EVIKA, Estonian Research Institute of Agriculture, Saku, Estonia 16: N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR), St Petersburg, Russia 17: All-Russia Institute of Agricultural Microbiology (ARRIAM), Pushkin, Russia 18: Institute for Land Use, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany 19: Lithuanian Forest Research Institute, Kaunas, Lithuania 20: Institute of Botany, Vilnius, Lithuania 21: DANESPO A/S, Give, Denmark 22: Biocenter Klein Flottbek, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Publication date: 2010-09-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more