Berries Production Guide

Raspberries
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Viruses

This section was updated - 16 April 2012

Raspberry Bushy Dwarf (Raspberry bushy dwarf virus, RBDV)

Damage

In susceptible varieties this virus causes crumbly fruit resulting in quality and yield loss.

Symptoms

Crumbly fruit is the most common symptom in infected red raspberries; however, crumbly fruit can be caused by factors other than RBDV infection. Infected plants are neither bushy nor dwarfed, although stunting and shorter canes may be observed in some varieties. Some varieties may also show leaf yellowing in the spring, but most commercially recommended varieties do not. The only way to confirm the presence of RBDV is to have leaf tissues tested in a laboratory (see “Monitoring”).

Disease Cycle

The virus is spread by pollen. Once infected with RBDV, plants are infected for life. The plants produce infected pollen that is spread to healthy plants.

Monitoring

Watch for leaf symptoms and crumbly fruit. Mark suspect bushes and have leaf samples tested at a laboratory.

Management

Cultural control

Use certified planting stock.

The only method of controlling RBDV is by planting resistant varieties. Willamette, Nootka, and Chilcotin are resistant to infection. Meeker and other recommended varieties are susceptible.

If growing susceptible varieties, remove fruiting laterals from first year fields before bloom to delay infection.

Biological control

None.

Chemical control

None.

Raspberry Ringspot (Tomato Ringspot Virus)

Damage

Infected plants may have reduced yield and vigour.

Symptoms

Infected plants of some varieties may show no symptoms other than reduced yield and vigour. Others may have leaf symptoms with mottling, yellowing, mosaic patterns, ringspots or curling. Some varieties can be severely dwarfed and may die as a result of the infection. Ringspot may also cause crumbly fruit.

Disease Cycle

The virus is spread by dagger nematodes (Xiphinema americanum) and possibly other related species. Weeds may be part of the cycle by supporting nematode populations and harbouring the virus.

Monitoring

Watch for leaf symptoms and crumbly fruit. Mark suspect bushes and have leaf samples tested at a laboratory. Test soil and roots for nematodes. See the “Nematodes” section for further details.

Management

Cultural control

Test soil for nematodes and do not plant in fields infested with dagger nematodes (Xiphinema).

Use certified planting stock.

If working in an infested field, clean equipment before moving to uninfested fields.

Control weeds which may harbour the virus and nematodes.

Removing infected plants may not help control the virus where more than 5% of plants are infected. However, where there is a low level of infection, remove infected plants as well as the next 5 plants beyond those showing symptoms or testing positive.

Meeker and Willamette are susceptible.

Biological control

None.

Chemical control

None.

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