Volume 17 Part 1 Article 40: Movement and Detection of Mushroom Virus X dsRNA through Mushroom Compost

Volume 17 Part 1 Article 40
Year 2008
Title: Movement and Detection of Mushroom Virus X dsRNA through Mushroom Compost
Authors: H. Grogan, N. Goncharenko, S. Holcroft and P. Mills


A complex of dsRNAs, identified as mushroom virus X (MVX), has been correlated with severe crop losses in the United Kingdom in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Experiments were conducted to quantify the rate of movement of dsRNAs through a crop and to determine if there was a relationship between symptom expression and the presence and/or intensity of dsRNAs. Phase II compost was inoculated at spawning with MVX dsRNA-containing cultures 1283 (associated with crop delay symptoms) or 2735 (associated with brown mushroom symptoms) at one end of a 2.75 m long × 0.24 m wide trough. Symptom expression was recorded and dsRNAs were extracted from mushrooms at 0.5 m intervals. Spawn-run compost was sampled on days 15, 28 and 35 after spawning at 0.5 m distances from the point of inoculation. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests using tri-reagent extraction were performed to determine if MVX dsRNAs could be detected in compost mycelium. The results from mushroom data indicated that MVX dsRNAs had spread from the point of inoculation to a distance of at least 2.5 m by the first flush, with a reduction in dsRNA intensity with increasing distance from the inoculation point. Crop delay symptoms were obvious up to 1.5 m from the inoculation point with MVX culture 1283 but not with culture 2735. No brown mushroom symptoms were recorded with culture 2735. RT-PCR tests on mushroom compost gave weak or negative results, suggesting an improved method may be required.

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