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Tree Samples Needed For Avocado Sunblotch Viroid Disease Study

California Avocado Commission – Avocado sunblotch viroid is an established disease in California that causes symptoms on all plant parts including leaves, stem, seeds, roots and flowers. Asymptomatic infection also occurs. Those trees, which are referred to as symptomless carrier trees, contain higher concentrations of ASBVd compared to symptomatic. Existence of asymptomatic trees and the uneven distribution of viroid in the tree make the identification of ASBVd symptoms in young trees challenging and problematic (see the photos below for a gallery of ASBVd symptoms). Therefore, accurate symptom identification and the distribution of ASBVd in symptomatic and asymptomatic plants and disease detection are of great importance.

Dr. Fatemeh Khodadadi, Assistant Professor of Extension and Assistant Plant Pathologist at the University of California-Riverside is conducting a research project on optimizing a fast and reliable detection method for ASBVd. As part of the study, her team is seeking to sample symptomatic and asymptomatic trees from avocado orchards in California. California avocado growers who are dealing with this disease in their orchard or are aware of orchards, ranches or groves harboring this disease, are invited to contact Dr. Khodadadi at 845.901.3046 or fatemehk@ucr.edu. The team hopes to mitigate the effects this disease has on the California avocado industry by optimizing ASBVd detection methods.

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