European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 151, Issue 1, pp 201–211 | Cite as

Potato germplasm poses the highest risk of introducing potato spindle tuber viroid in potatoes in the Netherlands: analysis and evaluation of an outbreak in potato breeding

  • J. Th. J. Verhoeven
  • G. W. M. Vullings
  • J. G. B. Voogd
  • F. J. A. Janssen
  • J. W. Roenhorst


In 2014, potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) was identified in a potato clone originating from a breeding company in the Netherlands. This clone was submitted for micro propagation and therefore tested for PSTVd and a number of other pathogens. This finding of PSTVd initiated actions to track and eradicate the infections. In addition to the finding at the breeding company, PSTVd was also found at a research institute. At both locations the viroid was eradicated following extended testing and discarding of infected plants. Additional surveys including testing of each individual plant in all crossing glasshouses and random samples of pre-basic and basic seed potatoes, revealed no further infections in the Netherlands. This result concurred with the fact that mechanical spread of PSTVd in the field is not likely under climatic conditions in the Netherlands. Therefore, vegetative propagation seems the most important pathway for maintaining and spreading of PSTVd. Based on the evaluation of this outbreak, it was concluded that potato germplasm poses the highest risk of introducing this viroid in potatoes in the Netherlands.


Potato breeding PSTVd outbreak Epidemiology Transmission Phylogenetic analysis 



We thank inspectors of NAK and our organisation for sampling and laboratory staff of NAK for performing real-time RT-PCRs for screening on PSTVd/pospiviroids.

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors made sure our manuscript complies to the Ethical Rules applicable for this journal.

Ethical approval

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

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Th. J. Verhoeven
    • 1
  • G. W. M. Vullings
    • 1
  • J. G. B. Voogd
    • 1
  • F. J. A. Janssen
    • 1
  • J. W. Roenhorst
    • 1
  1. 1.National Plant Protection OrganizationWageningenThe Netherlands

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