Citrus leprosis virus (CiLV) Bitancourt
Citrus leprosis virus appears to be moving northward from South America, and has been recently detected in Panama; if introduced into Mexico or the U. S. the virus could be vectored by the false spider mite.
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Name: Citrus leprosis virus (CiLV) Bitancourt
Virus: RNAvirus: (-)ssRNA: order Mononegavirales: unassigned Rhabdoviridae
Common Names: citrus leprosis virus (CiLV)
Citrus leprosis causes $100 million damage to Brazilian citrus annually. Should an infected fruit be exposed to Brevipalpus (false spider) mites in Florida, those mites could become infective within one to four days.
Issues of Concern: Citrus leprosis is always associated with false spider mites. Since false spider mite, but not the leprosis virus, is currently found in Florida, the concern is that Florida false spider mites could become infective if exposed to the virus. If CiLV were to be introduced into Florida, it would have a major impact on the $2.0+ billion US citrus (oranges) industry (Ag. Statistics, 1999).
mechanical transmission via grafting (inefficient); vector transmission by false spider mites (efficient), exposure time required for mite nymphs 24 hours; mite adults four days.
Hosts: Citrus sinensis; Citrus aurantifolia
Vector(s)/Dispersal: Brevipalpus phoenicis and B. californicus(confirmed), B. obovatus(suspected); these false spider mites are present in the US and Mexico, are probably not in Canada except under greenhouse conditions (Childers, pers. comm.)
Argentina (1940), Brazil (1960), Panama (Chiriqui Province -- 2001); also Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela
Quarantines: U. S. import -- nursery plants prohibited; fruit and seed restricted
Symptoms on leaves, fruit, and twigs: Zonate (ring-shaped) lesions that are first chlorotic and then become necrotic in the center. The lesions are somewhat raised on the leaves and twigs, and depressed on the fruit. Extensive twig lesions can cause twig dieback. Trunk: A bark scaling symptom can appear on the trunk similar to citrus psorosis, which can be differentiated from the psorosis virus due to lack of wood staining. Currently the only available diagnostic method is observation of the bacilliform virus particles in transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
Control: Removal of infected plants and chemical control of the mites: trees must be sprayed regularly and there is evidence of development of tolerance to the miticide. Quarantine inspection should remove symptomatic fruit; mites must come into contact with lesions for approximately twenty-four hours to vector the virus. Should infected fruit be exposed to Florida false spider mites, they could potentially vector the disease in one to four days.
Bitancourt, A. A. 1940. Biologico 6: 39; Burger, B. (ed.). 1997. Quarantine Pests for Europe, 2nd ed., pp. 1237 - 1242; Kitajima, E. W., et. al. 1972. Virology 50: 254; Knorr, C. L. 1950. Phytopathology 40:15; Saavedra de Dominguez, F., et. al. 2001. Plant Disease 85(2): 228.
Research School of Biological Sciences
photo of false spider mite
photo of infected fruit
Warning: The information in this archived item was not confirmed with the appropriate National Plant Protection Organization and is provided solely for informational purposes. Please use this information with caution.