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Old 06-02-2013, 04:35 PM
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Phalaenopsis plague

For the last couple years, all of my Phalaenopsis, Doritanopsis, and Sedirea have died. I successfully keep about 100 plants of many other orchid genera. All the phals end up with splotchy discoloration, first yellowish, then pitted like this. Even new plants. It happens withing a month or two of their entering my house. It is not sunburn. Is this a virus? Suggestions?

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Old 06-02-2013, 04:39 PM
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Figures, after months of wondering about this, and searching the internet with no luck, the day I post about it I find it online! This is exactly what happens to my plants.

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:03 PM
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Hmmm, 3 viruses that I wasn't already familiar with and that cause chlorotic spots on Phal leaves:

IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THREE NEW PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID-INFECTING VIRUSES

Abstract:

Quote:
ISHS Acta Horticulturae 901: XII International Symposium on Virus Diseases of Ornamental Plants
IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THREE NEW PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID-INFECTING VIRUSES
Authors: Y.X. Zheng, C.C. Chen, F.J. Jan
Keywords: new host record, new disease, tospovirus, potyvirus, carmovirus
Abstract:
A postulated so-called “Taiwan virus”-causing symptoms of chlorotic spots with centric necrosis or chlorotic ringspots on Phalaenopsis orchid leaves has been observed in Taiwan for several years. In 2002, a virus culture (91-orchid-1) was isolated from leaves of a Phalaenopsis orchid bearing chlorotic and necrotic spots from central Chinese Taipei. This virus was biologically, serologically and molecularly characterized. Results indicated that the virus is an isolate of Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV), designated as CaCV-Ph. In 2004, another virus-like symptom of chlorotic spots was observed on leaves of Phalaenopsis orchids in the central part of Chinese Taipei. A virus culture, Phalaenopsis isolate 7-2, was isolated from a symptomatic Phalaenopsis orchid. The causal agent was biologically and serologically characterized and shown to be a potyvirus that shares less than 70% amino acid identities with those of 18 other potyviruses that shared highest sequence identity in GenBank. Results from our study suggest that this is a new potyvirus and is designated as Phalaenopsis chlorotic spot virus (PhCSV). In 2003, a virus culture, 92-orchid-1, isolated from a Phalaenopsis orchid bearing chlorotic ring symptoms reacted with an antiserum to Carnation mottle virus (CarMV) in ELISA and its isometric particles measuring about 32 nm were observed. Sequence analyses of the CP gene showed that 92-orchid-1 is an isolate of CarMV and is therefore designated as CarMV-Ph. Specific antisera against CaCV-Ph, PhCSV and CarMV-Ph, and specific primers for RT-PCR were developed and successfully used for detection of these viruses. The occurrence of these three viruses in Phaelenopsis orchids has direct implication for the economically important nursery and floral industry in Chinese Taipei.

Last edited by jayfar; 06-02-2013 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:14 PM
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I think I may have figured it out. This area of the house also is home to a couple jasmine plants, which were attacked by spider mites both of the last two winters. The mite is a vector for "orchid fleck virus".

A google image search on that virus + Phalaenopsis shows exactly what my plants look like in their fast decline.

Nice to know what the problem is, and that it's not spread from plant-to-plant w/o the mite, but sad to know I have to trash the 3 plants in my collection that show symptoms.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:06 PM
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You are not alone - I had a significant sized phalaenopsis collection that was decimated by this same problem - VERY VERY sad indeed.......
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