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Identification of Tobacco Necrosis Virus in Deteriorating Clones of Aspen

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Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is deteriorating in some sites in the middle Rocky Mountain region. Several causal factors have been implicated, but the exact etiology of aspen deterioration remains unknown. Foliar symptoms indicative of virus infection were observed in trees within 33 aspen clones, both deteriorating and nondeteriorating, in Utah. A virus was mechanically transmitted from five deteriorating clones to cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Sucrose density-gradient centrifugation of one isolate of the virus revealed a single infectious component with a sedimentation velocity of S20,W +AD0- 110. Electron micrographs of the purified virus showed isometric particles 28 +ACY-plusmn+ADs- 1 nm diameter. Properties of the purified aspen virus and its antiserum showed the virus to be an isolate of tobacco necrosis virus (TNV-A). This is the first report of TNV in aspen. Two additional isolates of TNV antigenically dissimilar to TNV-A and to each other were recovered from one of the same five deteriorating clones. Healthy rooted aspen suckers were infected with purified TNV-A by mechanical inoculation. The possible role of virus infection in aspen deterioration is discussed. Forest Sci. 25:557-567.

Keywords: Populus tremuloides; tree virus dieback

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Assistant, Kitchawan Research Station. This work was supported by cooperative grants from the Intermountain Range and Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Logan, Utah

Publication date: December 1, 1979

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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