Characterization of blueberry shock virus, an emerging ilarvirus in cranberry

Sara Thomas-Sharma, Lindsay Wells-Hansen, Rae Page, Victoria Kartanos, Erika Saalau-Rojas, Benham E.L. Lockhart, Patricia S. McManus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Blueberry shock virus (BlShV), an Ilarvirus sp. reported only on blueberry, was associated with scarring, disfigurement, and premature reddening of cranberry fruit. BlShV was detected by triple-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, and isometric virions of 25 to 28 nm were observed in cranberry sap. The virus was systemic, although unevenly distributed in plants. The coat protein of BlShV from cranberry shared 90% identity compared with BlShV accessions from blueberry on GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of isolates of BlShV from cranberry collected from Wisconsin and Massachusetts did not indicate grouping by state. BlShV was detected in cranberry pollen, and seed transmission of up to 91% was observed. Artificial inoculation of cranberry flowers by pollination did not cause virus transmission. In some Nicotiana spp., rub inoculation of leaves with homogenized BlShV-positive cranberry flowers resulted in systemic infection. Cranberry plants recovered from symptoms the year after berry scarring occurred but continued to test positive for BlShV. The virus caused significant reduction in the average number of marketable fruit and average berry weight in symptomatic cranberry plants but recovered plants yielded comparably with healthy plants. Although recovery may limit the immediate economic consequences of BlShV, long-term implications of single- or mixed-virus infection in cranberry is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalPlant disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of blueberry shock virus, an emerging ilarvirus in cranberry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Thomas-Sharma, S., Wells-Hansen, L., Page, R., Kartanos, V., Saalau-Rojas, E., Lockhart, B. E. L., & McManus, P. S. (2018). Characterization of blueberry shock virus, an emerging ilarvirus in cranberry. Plant disease, 102(1), 91-97.