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Mushroom Virus X - HH2309SMU

This project aims to determine the relationships between the dsRNA bands consistently found in Agaricus bisporus displaying symptoms of mushroom virus X (MVX); identify any natural variation in tolerance to MVX that exists in host populations; and as a consequence evaluate multiple option virus control strategies for the UK mushroom industry. These aims will be achieved by terminal fingerprinting the 3’ end of all major bands available for analysis. Sequence comparison will enable virus bands to be grouped and from this it will be possible to identify target molecules to develop a PCR diagnostic test. Experiments will be conducted to determine whether dsRNA elements can be transmitted between strains and to assess the effects of cross-infection between two strains with different dsRNA profiles. The efficiency of viral transmission through spores will also be determined. This is crucial to our understanding of movement of MVX through the mushroom industry.

The contribution to disease symptoms of different components of the MVX complex will be assessed by partitioning of dsRNA through single spore isolation and cropping experiments.
A highly sensitive quantitative test will be developed for MVX using Taqman PCR.
A proportion of the world collection of Agaricus bisporus strains (ARP) plus other Agaricus species will be screened for resistance or tolerance to infection by MVX using both laboratory and cropping experiments.

The results of this project will provide a framework to design multiple option control strategies that may involve use of virus breaking strains (as has been used previously for ‘La France’ disease of mushrooms). The deliverables from this project will include:

1. Characterisation of viruses causing MVX.
2. Potential sources of tolerance/resistance identified.
3. A quantitative PCR detection method developed (and available to the industry).
4. Virus transmission characterised.
5. Control methods based on the above devised and presented to the industry.

This work addresses the policy objective ‘ to provide robust strategies and methods of disease control suitable for integrated crop and farm management’

1. To determine the relationship between all major dsRNA bands present in the MVX complex and to sequence characterise major components.
2. To develop an RT-PCR diagnostic test for separate viruses within the MVX complex and test commercial spawns and ARP cultures for virus presence.
3. Screen antisera for ability to detect A.bisporus on farm using MTIST
4. Characterise transmission of dsRNA elements between strains, assess effects of cross infection and determine significance of dsRNA partitioning during transmission through spores.
5. Identify potential sources of resistance/tolerance to MVX in Agaricus spp.
6. Determine the rate of spread of MVX into healthy compost from a point source
7. Design virus management strategy based on output of experimental programme and present to, and discuss with growers.
8. (additional objective) To localise and quantify MVX dsRNA elements within infected tissues
Project Documents
• Final Report : Mushroom Virus X   (366k)
• Final Report - Annex : Appendices   (4957k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2007

Cost: £913,525
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International, Warwick - HRI
Allocated - WHRI              
Disease Control              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study