Rubus spp. viruses

Arabis mosaic virus (ARMV), Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV), Raspberry ringspot virus (RRSV), Tomato black ring virus (TBRV)


The genus Rubus includes several economically important species, e.g. raspberry and blackberry. They can be affected by a wide variety of viruses, the most important of which are Arabis mosaic virus (ARMV), Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV), Raspberry ringspot virus (RRSV) and Tomato black ring virus (TBRV). Symptoms can be very different and virus-specific.

Damage symptoms

The type and severity of symptoms caused by viruses depend on the susceptibility of the variety used and the aggressiveness of the respective virus strain and can vary greatly. Mixed infections with other viruses occur and can intensify or change the symptom expression. Furthermore, the symptoms also depend on the season or temperature and the interval between infection and inspection. In general, high temperatures and dryness can lead to masking of viral symptoms. Therefore, accurate attribution of visually visible symptoms to a single virus is limited. Instead, attention should be paid to general virus symptoms. In case of suspicion, laboratory testing is essential.

The following virus symptoms may occur on Rubus species:

  • Growth retardation on young canes, bearing canes with weakly developed lateral axes, canes may tend to be brittle
  • Fruits reduced in size or absent, crumb fruiting, etc.
  • Abnormalities of the chlorophyll apparatus: e.g. mosaics, ring spots, yellowing, vein lightening, and necroses on the leaves
  • Shape changes, e.g., rolling, curling of leaves, reduction of leaf area or tissue overgrowth (enations, leaf-like protrusions), shoot deformities

Host plants

The viruses have a very large host plant range, but differ in terms of their main hosts.

  • The main hosts of Arabis mosaic virus are raspberry, strawberry, hops, grapevine, and elderberry.
  • Strawberry latent ringspot virus is found in fruit crops on strawberry, currant, raspberry and blackberry, elderberry, peach, plum, cherry, and grapevine.
  • The main hosts of Raspberry ringspot virus are raspberry, strawberry, cherry, hop, grapevine, and elderberry.
  • Tomato black ring virus causes yield losses of economic importance on strawberry, raspberry, currant, and peach.


The aforementioned viruses are widespread in Europe.

Propagation and transmission

Arabis mosaic virus (ARMV), Strawberry latent ringspot virus (SLRSV), Raspberry ringspot virus (RRSV) and Tomato black ring virus (TBRV) are nepoviruses. They are transmitted by nematodes of the genera Longidorus sp. and Xiphinema sp.

Economic importance

Of economic importance are Raspberry ringspot virus, Arabis mosaic virus and Strawberry latent ringspot virus. They lead to high yield losses, especially in mixed infections, and can cause considerable economic damage to some varieties.

Prevention and control

Preventive measures

  • Purchase of certified young rods as starting material for propagation
  • Examination of planting material for latent infections by means of laboratory analysis
  • Sites where fruit growing has been carried out in the past should be avoided due to the possible transmission of nepoviruses, or the soils should be examined for the presence of virus-transmitting nematode species(Longidorus sp., Xiphinema sp.).
  • For raspberries, the distance of the propagation area between plants for fruit production should be at least 25 m.

Measures in case of suspicion

  • Sampling and sending plants with typical symptoms to a testing laboratory
  • Determination of the infestation in the entire plant
  • Remove and destroy diseased plants without causing damage to prevent further spreading
  • Determine the origin of the infestation (e.g. additional purchase)
  • In case of positive detection of virus-transmitting nematodes, the field piece should no longer be used for seedling production.

Phytosanitary status

All of the above viruses are Union-regulated non-quarantine pests.

Last updated: 01.09.2023

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