New Virus in Roses for Florida

Rose Rosette Virus is a disease that has been around for a long time but has just been identified in Florida from a nursery in Quincy, in Knock-Out roses.   This virus is transmitted by microscopic mites (Eriophyid mites). The virus causes a proliferation of thorns and abnormal growth (witch's broom symptoms).  As of January, it was also found in Gadsden, Alachua, and Levy counties in Florida.  The disease will usually kill infected plant within 1 to 2 years.  Growers should be scouting for this new disease as DPI will quarantine a nursery with this virus until there is no more apparent risk at the site.  If you suspect that plants have the symptoms, you can submit them for proper identification at a UF plant disease clinic.  Growers should destroy infected plants. UF is recommending the use of insecticides for Eriophyid mite control in the early spring.  Always rotate Modes of Action!  For a general overview about the disease and pictures of symptoms, here is a link you can take a look at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2013-2014/RRV_PestAlert_Paret_2014.pdf.  For an extensive amount of grower information about Rose Rosette Virus, check out the site www.roserosettedisease.com.  For more information about the mite vector, here is a link to an EDIS publication http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN99900.pdf  Information from the above sources were used for this article.

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