Research outputs

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Main research question/goal

This project focused on a plant virus that threatens cherry cultivation, but also some flowering Prunus speces, namely the so-called Little Cherry virus (LChV). The aim was to develop a knowledge-based sustainable management strategy, and to implement this in practice. Concretely, we wanted to: (1) discover a number of crucial knowledge gaps around the virus (complex) (epidemiology, survival, risk of contamination of starting material, sensitivity cultivar / rootstock, fast reliable in field detection method) through practice-based research. (2) discover a number of crucial knowledge gaps around the insect vectors and their role in spreading LChV through practice-based research. (3) develop and test practical measures that effectively prevent the introduction (appropriate procedures in production of the propagation material based on rapid detection / certification strategy, use of resistant / tolerant rootstocks / cultivars), contamination and further spread of the disease on the basis of risk evaluation and knowledge gained in points 1 and 2 and (4) draw up guidelines and communicate with effective management measures and support of their broad implementation in practice.

Research approach

The research strategy of the project consisted of four parts: 1) study and understand virus epidemiology; 2) study and understand transmission of LChV through insect vectors, and 3) develop and 4) implement a control strategy for the disease (including use of certified virus free starting material, minimise the risk of transmission and infection of healthy trees) in cherry production orchards.


By making available a series of knowledge-based control measures, and supporting their practical implementation through demonstration tests and advice, we the LChV problem has significantly been reduced. This was translate this into fewer reported cases (suspect samples) and less economic damage. Through the development of knowledge-based control measures, we established a consensus between professional cherry growers and owners of standard orchards / (ornamental) cherry trees regarding the LChV control strategy, despite their different perspectives and interests. A lot of awareness has been risen with the growers, yet, an important aspect in managing the disease will be the continued effort to start cherry production with healthy propagation material. 

Funding provider(s)
Effective start/end date1/09/1531/08/19

ID: 4160535