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Occurrence of Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 in the chestnut blight fungus in Macedonia

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In Macedonia, hypoviruses in the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, were first identified in 1995, more than 20 years after the discovery of chestnut blight. Between 1995 and 2000, 488 isolates of the fungus were collected from 19 sites throughout Macedonia. These isolates were screened for hypoviruses by extraction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and electrophoresis on agarose gels. We found dsRNA of approximately 12 kb in length in 95 isolates in eight subpopulations of the fungus. Subpopulations with the highest virus incidence were Skudrinje (63%) and Jepiste (43%) in the Debar region, and Frangovo (46%) in the Struga region. Virus incidence in other subpopulations was much lower. To test whether the 12-kb dsRNAs are Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 (CHV-1), we subjected a sample of 27 isolates to reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and RFLP analyses. All 27 were identified as CHV-1 and belonged to the Italian subtype (subtype-I); all of these isolates were white in culture, typical of CHV-1-containing isolates. Most isolates had RFLPs identical to those previously found in other countries of southern Europe. Future studies will investigate hypoviruses from various origins in Macedonia for their biological control potential. Preliminary field surveys identified superficial cankers at all chestnut populations where CHV-1 was found.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0329.2006.00443.x

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Forestry, University Ss. Kiril i Metodij, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia., Email: kirils@sf.ukim.edu.mk 2: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA 3: Swiss Federal Research Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape (WSL), CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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