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A tuber-damaging strain of Alfalfa Mosaic Virus A discovered

When alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) happens to occur in potatoes, it usually causes leaf mottling and blotching. Now, researchers have identified an unusual strain that causes necrosis – brownish dead patches – in tubers, the first such AMV strain found in Canada. The story of how this tuber-necrosis culprit was identified is a little like something from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The infected tubers were discovered in 2012 during routine sampling in a commercial field. That finding was quite surprising because the cultivar involved doesn’t normally show internal tuber symptoms in response to the pathogens normally encountered in the region. So the tubers were sent to Xianzhou Nie, a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Fredericton, to find out what had caused the problem. More