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Re: [Aroid-l] viruses in Amorphophallus

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] viruses in Amorphophallus
  • From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill@bellsouth.net>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 11:11:53 -0400

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
Hosta Hill - Tucker, Georgia USA
USDA Zone 7a - 1188 ft (362 m) AMSL
84-12'-30" West 33-51' North
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