New Zealand, Australia

Potato virus found for first time in New Zealand

Image result for potato mop-top virusA damaging potato crop virus could have a serious impact on the potato industry if not contained, an expert says. The potato mop-top virus (PMTV) has been discovered in New Zealand for the first time on two farms in Canterbury on the South Island. The virus causes a defect in the potato that means it can’t be processed for potato chips and oven fries, but does not pose a health risk. Affected potatoes can display symptoms including distortions to the skin, deep cracking, and rust-coloured arcs, streaks or flecks in the tuber flesh. Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge said they were investigating to see where the virus had come from and if it had spread to any other potato crops in the country. “It is so important for us to isolate and contain the virus and, if possible, eradicate it,” he said. Read more