Potato viruses in northern Saudi Arabia
In Saudi Arabia, potato is a relatively new crop but is constantly increasing. The commercial production was 20 tons in 1976 and reached 60,000 tons in 1990. Potatoes are grown in both spring and autumn. Seed potatoes for the spring crops are imported mainly from the Netherlands but also from France, Northern Ireland and USA. The autumn crop is planted with seed potatoes produced locally from the previous crop. From 1989 to 1991, a survey on virus diseases was conducted in two of the six major potato-growing areas, Tabuk and Hail, which are situated in the north of the country. The following viruses were found in the two areas: alfalfa mosaic alfamovirus, cucumber mosaic cucumovirus, tobacco mosaic tobamovirus, potato leaf roll luteovirus, tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (potential EPPO A2 quarantine pest), tobacco ringspot nepovirus and potato viruses A, M, S, X and Y. Potato yellow dwarf nucleorhabdovirus (EPPO A1 quarantine pest) was found in Hail but not in Tabuk. The EPPO Secretariat will check with the authors this rather surprising record (the virus has been reported from North America only, where it has not been seen on potatoes since many years).
Al-Shahwan, I.M.; Abdalla, O.A.; Al-Saleh, M.A. (1997) Viruses in the northern potato-producing regions of Saudi Arabia.
Plant Pathology, 46(1), 91-94.