Science Into Practice - Managing viruses in carrot crops

The principle viruses affecting carrot crops in the UK are parsnip yellow fleck virus (PYFV) and the carrot motley dwarf complex (CMD) consisting of carrot red leaf virus (CtRLV), carrot mottle virus (CMoV) and carrot red leaf associated RNA (CtRLVaRNA).

These viruses affect carrots sporadically, but when they occur they can have devastating consequences on the crops.

The objective of HDC project FV 382 was to ascertain the extent of the problem in the carrot industry to then identify better targeting of future developmental work to support the industry in managing carrot viruses.

The project aimed to ascertain the viral causes of symptoms in leaves and roots of UK carrot crops. Traditionally, root necrosis or browning were associated with the carrot strain of PYFV. Over the course of the past year, samples exhibiting internal browning have been diagnosed as being infected with CMD consisting of CtRLV, CMoV and CtRLVaRNA.

The survey tested approximately 50 samples gathered from the UK throughout the summer of 2010. The final report, now available on the HDC website, presented action points for growers and concluded that the development of internal browning symptoms in carrot is not solely a response to infection with viruses.

PYFV does not appear to be associated with root browning and virus combinations including CMoV are most commonly associated with root necrosis.

Dates for your diary

Narcissus Technical Seminars - Springfields, Lincolnshire, 14 April; and Duchy College, Cornwall, 5 May.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit www.hdc.org.uk


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