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Peer Reviewed

© 2007 Plant Management Network.
Accepted for publication 16 April 2007. Published 26 September 2007.

Hosta virus X Detected in Kansas

Megan M. Kennelly, Judith O’Mara, and Joy Pierzynski, Kansas State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Manhattan, KS 66506; and Bill Hilbert and Jon Appel, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Topeka, KS 66619

Corresponding author: Megan M. Kennelly.

Kennelly, M. M., O’Mara, J., Pierzynski, J., Hilbert, B., and Appel, J. 2007. Hosta virus X detected in Kansas. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2007-0926-01-BR.

Hosta virus X (HVX) is a mechanically-spread Potexvirus that infects several species in the genus Hosta (1). The virus causes a variety of symptoms including color-streaking, mosaic, distortion, and necrosis, though some infected plants remain symptomless (1).

In 2005, 15 symptomatic samples from retail outlets in four Kansas counties were tested for HVX by sending to a private laboratory (Agdia Inc., Elkhart, IN). Ten samples were positive, including the cultivars ‘Golden Tiara,’ ‘Hosta Assortment,’ ‘Blue Cadet,’ ‘Sum and Substance,’ ‘Moerheim,’ and ‘So Sweet.’

In 2006, HVX symptoms were observed in several additional commercial greenhouses and garden centers in Kansas. Symptoms included mottled colors (Fig. 1), dark green colors near the veins ("ink-bleed" symptoms) (Fig. 2), and puckering/distortion (Fig. 3). Thirteen symptomatic hosta samples were examined from April to September 2006. Diagnosis of HVX was confirmed at Kansas State University by double antibody sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay using a commercially available kit (Agdia Inc.). Reactions considered positive for HVX had absorbance values ranging from 1.37 to 2.01, compared to 1.85 in the positive control and 0.106 in the negative control. HVX was confirmed in 7 plants, including the cultivars ‘Sum & Substance,’ ‘Gold Standard,’ ‘Shade Fanfare,’ and ‘Striptease.’


Fig. 1. Mottled coloring on hosta leaf infected with Hosta virus X.


Fig. 2. Dark coloring near the veins of hosta leaf infected with Hosta virus X.


Fig. 3. Puckering and distortion on hosta leaf infected with Hosta virus X.


To our knowledge, these are the first occurrences of HVX in Kansas. Kansas State University Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture are providing education to greenhouses, garden centers, and the general public about how to prevent and manage this disease.

Literature cited:

1. Currier, S., and Lockhart, B. E. L. 1996. Characterization of a potexvirus infecting Hosta spp. Plant Dis. 80:1040-1043.