Plum pox virus resistance in peaches
Plum pox virus (PPV or Sharka virus) is a disease that can attack in all Prunus species. It was initially found in North America in both peaches and plums that arrived from Europe in 1999; more recently, it was found in the USA in 2006. Common in Europe, PPV is a debilitating disease that reduces tree vigor, productivity and fruit quality. With no known cure, it may be possible to prevent infection in North America by eradicating trees, though control in Europe will require developing disease resistant peach varieties.
Following initiatives undertaken by a number of other research institutions, OSF is now developing PPV-resistant peach cultivars by silencing the PPV coat protein (CP) gene. Proof of concept of this approach has already been achieved in plums. OSF is using our peach transformation systems to evaluate proof of concept and is testing our new peach lines for PPV resistance.