Home pageArticles - biotech and pharmacyDevelopment of Plum pox virus resistant stone fruits

Development of Plum pox virus resistant stone fruits

Date: 10.6.2013 

Plum pox virus (PPV) causes Sharka disease, the most serious virus disease of stone fruits.  PPV is spread from tree to tree by aphids and through infected budwood.  Symptoms of plum pox infection include leaf and fruit yellowing, fruit deformation, premature fruit drop, and when in the presence of other Prunus viruses, PPV can cause tree decline. 

Originally reported from Bulgaria in the early 1900s, PPV has spread throughout Europe where it has destroyed well over 100 million stone fruit trees.  In the past decade, it has spread from the European continent to India, Egypt, Lebanon, the Azores, Chile, Argentina, and China, and recently, the states of Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan in the U.S., and in Canada. 

Plum pox virus was found in commercial peaches in Pennsylvania in the fall of 1999.  Thus far, the eradication program has cost approximately $40 million, and 1600 acres of stone fruits have been destroyed.  PPV is an invasive species and there are few sources of resistance to this virus.   In anticipation of the spread of PPV to the U.S. we began in 1990 a program of genetic engineering resistance to this devastating disease. 

Our efforts were successful with the development and testing of the PPV-resistant PPV-CP transgenic plum ‘HoneySweet’ (formerly C5).  With the serious threat of PPV in the U.S. and its continuing spread, it is imperative to make available to breeding programs and growers ‘HoneySweet’ plum.  A submission for deregulation of ‘HoneySweet’ plum was submitted to the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in 2006 and data packages have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental protection Agency (EPA)...

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Find more at:  Scorza et al Acta Hort 2007 Deregulation of ‘HoneySweet’

Related Website: http://ars.usda.gov/is/br/plumpox/index.htm




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