EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 2013 Num. article: 2013/124

Association of Little cherry virus 1 with Shirofugen stunt disease

Shirofugen stunt is a syndrome of flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata cv. ‘Shirofugen’) grafted on sweet or sour cherry (P. avium, P. cerasus) which is also used as a woody indicator during virus indexing. This syndrome is characterized by strong rosetting with dwarfed and deformed leaves, reduced vigour, gradual necrosis at the graft union, and plant dieback after a few vegetative cycles. The graft transmissibility of the disease and the symptomatology strongly suggested a viral etiology but the causal agent remained unknown. Recent molecular studies (using advanced sequencing techniques) suggest that Little cherry virus 1 (Closteroviridae, LChV1 – EU Annexes) is associated with this disease, as it was the only viral agent being detected in diseased plants. However, it is acknowledged that further research is needed to demonstrate that LChV1 is indeed the causal agent. Interestingly, it is noted that other studies had also tentatively associated LChV1 with Kwanzan stunting, a syndrome which has been observed in another flowering cherry (P. serrulata cv. ‘Kwanzan’) used as a woody indicator.


Candresse T, Marais A, Faure C, Gentit P (2013) Association of Little cherry virus 1 (LChV1) with the Shirofugen stunt disease and characterization of the genome of a divergent LChV1 isolate. Phytopatholoy 103(3), 293-298.