Molecular characterization and eradication of new potato spindle tuber viroid isolates from dahlia plants in Japan

  • Daiki Tsushima
  • Maho Nishimura
  • Takeshi Toda
  • Hiromitsu Furuya
  • Shin-ichi FujiEmail author


Recently, the distribution of seeds and seedlings has expanded worldwide due to the internationalization of agricultural products. Quarantine-notifiable plant pathogens including viroids are therefore spreading globally, which is a major concern in terms of plant protection. Viroids are the smallest known plant pathogen and have a large host range, causing various disease symptoms after infection. In 2011, the Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd), belonging to the Pospiviroid family, was detected in Akita Prefecture (North Japan). By 2015, unregistered PSTVd isolates had been identified in seven dahlia cultivars (a total of about 5000 plants) when leaves were surveyed in the fields where PSTVd was first detected. The newly discovered PSTVd isolates are very similar to a PSTVd dahlia isolate that was found previously in Japan. None of the infected dahlias showed disease symptoms during the early stages of infection, however, growth suppression occasionally occurred during later stages. At present, PSTVd appears to have been successfully eradicated from Akita prefecture, but the threat of new PSTVd isolates spreading to other susceptible hosts, such as tomatoes and potatoes, still remains.


Potato spindle tuber viroid Pospiviroids Ornamental crops Dahlia Sequence variants 



The survey of PSTVd infection in the Akita prefecture was performed with the cooperation of the Yokohama Plant Protection Station of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan. We thank H. Yanagisawa (CARC/NARO, Japan) for supplying data for the phylogenetic tree.


This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for “Development of detection and identification techniques of pests” in research and development for “global warming adaptation and abnormal weather correspondence” from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daiki Tsushima
    • 1
  • Maho Nishimura
    • 1
  • Takeshi Toda
    • 1
  • Hiromitsu Furuya
    • 1
  • Shin-ichi Fuji
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Bioresource SciencesAkita Prefectural UniversityAkitaJapan

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