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Viruses and Virus Diseases of Rubus

    Authors and Affiliations
    • Robert R. Martin , USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR
    • Stuart MacFarlane , The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, Scotland
    • Sead Sabanadzovic , Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State
    • Diego Quito , Centro de Investgaciones Biotecnologicas del Ecuador, Guayaquil, Ecuador
    • Bindu Poudel
    • Ioannis E. Tzanetakis , Department of Plant Pathology, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

      Blackberry and raspberry are members of the family Rosaceae. They are classified in the genus Rubus, which comprises hundreds of species and has a center of origin in the Far East. Rubus is divided into 15 subgenera with blackberries classified in the Rubus (formerly Eubatus) and raspberries in the Idaeobatus subgenera. Rubus species are propagated vegetatively and are subject to infection by viruses during development, propagation, and fruit production stages. Reports of initial detection and symptoms of more than 30 viruses, virus-like diseases, and phytoplasmas affecting Rubus spp. were reviewed more than 20 years ago. Since the last review on Rubus viruses, significant progress has been made in the molecular characterization of many of the viruses that infect Rubus spp. Currently, reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction detection methods are available for most of the viruses known to infect Rubus. The goals of this article are to update the knowledge on previously characterized viruses of Rubus, highlight recently described viruses, review the virus-induced symptoms, describe the advances made in their detection, and discuss our knowledge about several virus complexes that cause serious diseases in Rubus. Virus complexes have been identified recently as the major cause of diseases in blackberries and raspberries.