The Same Aphid? #778175 - Ask Extension

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The Same Aphid? #778175

Asked November 20, 2021, 9:27 PM EST

Hello-- I have been growing "Sparkle" strawberries for roughly six years. In 2019 we moved to a new home and I reestablished the patch in our new garden. They settled in very well, but within a year developed crinkle-leaf virus symptoms and lost their vigor. This summer I plant a new bed of the Elan variety and it also is growing crinkled leaves. I understand that the crinkle-leaf virus is transmitted by aphids, though I've never noticed any aphids on the strawberry plants. There is a decorative burgundy-leafed plum shrub with a severe case of aphids less than 30 feet from the strawberry patch. Would the same species of aphids that live on the plum sip from the strawberry plants too? If so, I will remove the sickly plum before planting strawberries again. If not, can you recommend a crinkle-leaf resistant variety for growing in the Petoskey area? Or is there something else that causes crinkle-leaf symptoms/carries it that I should consider? Thank you very much for reviewing my question! Sincerely, Kate Melby 231-373-4275

Emmet County Michigan

Expert Response

It is not possible for the aphids feeding on the plum to transmit Strawberry Crinkle Virus (Cytorhabdovirus spp.) to your strawberries. Green Peach Aphid (Myzus persicae) is the only common aphid that feeds on both strawberry (Fragaria spp.) and plum (Prunus spp.) Strawberry Crinkle Virus is transmitted by Strawberry Aphids in the genus Chaetosiphon. Strawberry aphids only feed on strawberries and close relatives in the genus Fragaria.

The symptoms that you are seeing could certainly be caused by any number of things. Without photographs and/or descriptions of the symptoms, I cannot offer you a diagnosis. Virus symptoms in strawberry are usually not caused by infection with a single virus. Rather, symptomatic plants are infected with a complex of viruses. The best way to manage virus infections in strawberry plantings is to renew (i.e. remove all plants and replant with certified virus-free stock) every two or three years. There are no virus resistant strawberry varieties that I am aware of, but you could certainly ask your favorite nursery if they have virus resistant varieties available. 

If you'd like to have your plants tested for viruses or fungal diseases you can send a sample to the MSU Plant and Pest Diagnostics Laboratory. Their website has instructions and contact info for the lab: https://www.canr.msu.edu/pestid/

Nathaniel Walton Replied November 23, 2021, 9:41 AM EST

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