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  viruses in Amorphophallus
From: Bryan Lampl <blampl1 at earthlink.net> on 2004.10.04 at 09:26:12(12247)
Earlier this year I acquired an Amorphophallus albus and when it opened up I
immediately recognized that the coloration of the leaves were not consistant
and contained lightened patches throughout. I decided that there could be
the possibility of the plant containing a virus. I have kept it seperate
from my other plants to be safe. The plant went dormant after I returned
from the aroid show and now I am hoping to determine if this is a
contaminated tuber. Is there anyone that could inform me on how one would
test for viral infections in tubers or direct me to a person or facility
that could do the procedure. The tuber did offset so I can easily offer one
for disection and testing. I would prefer not to be overcautious and
destroy a healthy tuber. Thanks for your assistance.

From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2004.10.04 at 19:59:45(12251)
Virus expert Dr. Ben Lockhart, University of Minnesota, routinely tests for
virus in hosta and other plant species and is set up to do virus ID. He is a
plant pathologist for the Extension Service U of M. Lockhart, Benham E.
lockh002@umn.edu 612-625-5785 651-645-3996 Plant Pathology. George

W. George Schmid

From: Ron Kaufmann <kaufmann at sandiego.edu> on 2004.10.04 at 21:53:13(12252)
Hi Brian,

I'm not sure who does virus testing on aroids, but Critter Creek
Laboratory (crittercreeklab@earthlink.net) does virus testing on
orchids. They don't require a whole tuber - just some leaf material.


From: Bryan Lampl <blampl1 at earthlink.net> on 2004.10.08 at 04:16:05(12265)

i wanted to thank you for the reference. i have been in contact with Dr.
Lockhart and sent him an offset today for testing.

Bryan Lampl

From: Bryan Lampl <blampl1 at earthlink.net> on 2004.10.08 at 04:18:17(12266)
hi Ron,

thanks for the reference. i was able to contact the person at univ. of minn.
for testing. i sent him an offset today. hopefully it will test negative. i
would hate to have to destroy the nice tuber.


From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2004.10.09 at 15:25:52(12272)
You are welcome Bryan. Some time ago, I did a study on viruses in Hosta and
Ben was extremely helpful. George

W. George Schmid

From: Bryan Lampl <blampl1 at earthlink.net> on 2004.10.20 at 20:50:39(12297)
I unfortunately was informed yesterday that my Amorphophallus albus is
infected with something similar to the Dasheen mosaic virus. I have
destroyed the tuber and its offsets, but would like some imput on the
potential contamination to other plants. Should I quarantine all plants that
were grown in the vicinity of the invected plant? What about a treatment
program? All of my plants are grown in seperate containers and when each one
goes dormant they are uprooted and the soil is discarded. I also treat each
tuber with a bactericide/fungicide before putting them away for the winter.
I store each tuber repotted in a dry soil mix in which they will be kept
until the spring when they will be reintroduced to moisture and the sun
(there are a few exceptions to this, those which require moisture while
dormant). My main concern now is to be able to eliminate any potential
spread of this virus. I have collected a number of Amorphophallus species
this year and I would hate to have to cull plants due to this unfortunate
problem. Thanks for your help.

From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill at bellsouth.net> on 2004.10.22 at 15:11:53(12299)
There are no known cures available for virus-infected plants. Much has been
talked about virus in hosta plants and we have been advised to destroy all
plants diagnosed to have the disease. If the plants are in a greenhouse that
has a controlled, insect-free environment, the infection may only occur in a
plant that has been purchased with the virus infection already under way.
The virus is spread by contact of the sap of infected plants with healthy
plants. This will occur when cutting the infected plants - not just rhizome
division but also cutting leaves and other plant parts, or just accidental
contact that may result in sap exchange. Another vector are sucking and
chewing insects that move from plant to plant. Pieces of roots or offsets
left behind from digging the tubers may also harbor the virus. All parts of
a plant diagnosed to be infected should be regarded as carrying the
contagious virus and must handled with this in mind. Any tools used on these
plants should be sterilized (chlorine solution/bleach) before contacting any
healthy plants. Use disposable plastic gloves and use a new pair every time
you move to a new plant. The virus will not be present in the soil, so new
plants may be planted where a virused plant was dug as long as there are no
still-living roots/offsets remaining there. The only way to determine if
other plants are infected is to have them tested or if they show symptoms.
If the plants are rare and/or irreplaceable, isolate them and avoid
plant-to-plant contact. Better still, take small samples of tubers and or
offsets and have them tested. Sterilize the tools after each use. Get a pack
of plastic gloves and use a new pair when you take samples of the next
plant. Avoid contact between samples and pack each in separate, sealable
plastic bags. HTH, George

W. George Schmid

From: Bryan Lampl <blampl1 at earthlink.net> on 2004.10.29 at 02:27:52(12325)
I am putting together a new website of the Amorphophallus photos i took this
year. After my unfortunate discovery of a virus in my A. albus (thanks for
everyones imput on the subject) I thought it might be good to use the
pictures to show others what an invected plant can look like. I have seen
many "variegated" plants offered this year online and I would hope that
others become as cautious I am now so not to continue the spread of viruses
to healthy plants. Here is the URL to the webpage of photos...

> http://www.geocities.com/inthedirt86/albus.html

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