EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 04 - 2005 Num. article: 2005/056

Studies on natural hosts of Plum pox potyvirus (other than cultivated Prunus)

Several studies have been recently carried out on host plants of Plum pox potyvirus (PPV - EPPO A2 list) other than cultivated Prunus. Several new host plants have been identified, and may play a role in disease epidemiology.

In France, experiments were done on the possible role of 3 ornamental species of Prunus  (P. cerasifera ‘pissardii’, P. spinosa, P. triloba) as reservoirs for PPV (Labonne et al., 2004). Results showed that P. triloba and P. cerasifera ‘pissardii’ were not likely to act as efficient plant reservoirs for PPV. But P. spinosa appeared to be a possible reservoir. It was susceptible to all PPV isolates tested, and systemic infection could be detected after a period of 3 years (although few leaves were found infected). More studies are needed to verify that aphids could acquire PPV from infected leaves and transmit it to healthy Prunus plants.

In Slovenia, 548 weed species, collected near infected orchards, have been tested from 2000 to 2002, for the presence of PPV (Viršček Marn et al., 2004). The virus was found in the following weed species: Ajuga genevensis, Cichorium sp., Cirsium arvense, Clematis sp., Convolvulus arvensis, Rorippa sylvestris, Solanum nigrum, Sonchus sp., Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium sp.

In Czechia, naturally growing myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera ssp. myrobalana) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) were evaluated for the presence of PPV infection from 1995 to 2002 (Polák, 2004). Results showed that there was a high variability in susceptibility to PPV among naturally growing trees of both species. On average, P. spinosa appeared more susceptible to PPV than myrobalan.


Labonne G, Boeglin M, Monsion B (2004) Evaluation of three ornamental Prunus as reservoirs of PPV.
Acta Horticulturae, no. 657, 255-259.

Polák J (2004) Variability in susceptibility to Plum pox virus in natural woody hosts, myrobalan and blackthorn.
Acta Horticulturae, no. 657, 261-264.

Viršček Marn M, Marvrič I, Urbančič-Zemljič M, Škerlavaj V (2004) Detection of Plum pox potyvirus in weeds.
Acta Horticulturae, no. 657, 251-254.