VIRUS TESTING OF PERENNIAL PROPAGATING STOCK
The presence of plant viruses can often be difficult to detect and, even if detected, the casual virus can be difficult to identify. This is in contrast to the obvious presence of most fungal disease and the ready identification of fungi. This difficulty creates a problem in perennials as the systemic nature of viruses in plant tissue and their persistence in plants means that all progeny obtained by vegetative propagation from infected perennial stock will also be infected.
The detection and identification of plant viruses is carried out by several means. Many virus diseases are self–indicating by their symptoms on leaves, flowers, or fruit. In cultivars that do not show clear symptoms infection can often be demonstrated by budding or grafting tissue into known sensitive "indicator" cultivars. Similarly herbaceous plants can be used as indicators if they show diagnostic symptoms when viruses are transmitted to them by insects or sap inoculation.
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