Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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USDA-ARS announces new, plum pox-resistant plum variety

April 4, 2022  By Fruit & Vegetable

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS) has unveiled a new, virus-resistant plum variety that they hope to bring to market soon.

ARS created the Honeysweet variety using RNAi, a biotechnology method that makes them immune to the plum pox virus. Plum pox, also known as Sharka, infects stone fruit trees: plums, peaches, apricots and cherries. Once infected, the fruit discolours and falls from the tree prior to maturation. There is no natural, genetic resistance to the virus.

Plum pox is devastating and eradicating the virus is costly: infected trees are identified and destroyed, and all trees in a 500-metre area around the infected tree are also destroyed to prevent virus spread. |READ MORE


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