Virus Diseases of Potatoes


More than 30 different viruses are known to affect potatoes, contributing to degeneration of the crop. In response, major efforts have been made to control virus diseases by eliminating them from propagation stocks and developing resistant cultivars, procedures whose effectiveness rely on proper identification of viruses and their detection by means of sensitive and accurate virus detection technology.

Keywords: potato; virus; resistance; seed production

Figure 1.

Typical symptoms (left plant) of Potato leafroll virus (PLRV) in potato.

Figure 2.

Symptoms (left plant) induced by Potato virus Y (PVY) strain 0 in potato.

Figure 3.

Stability of genetic resistance to PLRV in potato after 3 years′ exposure to viruliferous aphids in the fields. Plants on the left carry genes for resistance to virus multiplication whereas those on the right are of a susceptible cultivar.



Clark MF and Adams AN (1977) Characteristics of the microplate method of enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of plant viruses. Journal of General Virology 34: 475–483.

Cockerham G (1970) Genetical studies on resistance to potato viruses X and Y. Heredity 25: 309–348.

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Fraser RSS (1985) Mechanism of Resistance to Plant Diseases. Boston, MA: Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W Junk.

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Salaman RN (1949) The History and Social Influence of the Potato. London: Cambridge University Press.

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Tenorio J, Chuquillanqui C, Garcia A et al. (2003) [Symptomatology and effect on potato yield of achaparamiento rugoso]. Sintomatología y efecto en el rendimiento de papa por achaparamiento rugoso. Fitopatología 38(1): 32–36.

Further Reading

Beukema HP and Van der Zaag DE (1979) Potato Improvement. Some Factors and Facts. Wageningen, The Netherlands: International Agricultural Centre (IAC).

Brunt A, Crabtree K, Dallwitz M, Gibbs A and Watson L (eds) (1996) Viruses of Plants. Oxford: CAB International.

Duncan JM and Torrance L (eds) (1992) Techniques for the Rapid Detection of Plant Pathogens. London: British Society Plant Pathology and Blackwell Scientific Publications.

Hooker WJ (ed.) (1981) Compendium of Potato Diseases. St Paul, MN: The American Phytopathological Society.

Horton D (1992) La Papa: Producción, Comercialización y Programas. Montevideo, Uruguay: Centro Internacional de la Papa y Editorial Hemisferio Sur.

Hunnius W (1982) Virus Testing of Seed Potatoes, Review. Lima, Peru: International Potato Center (CIP). [Translation permitted by Eugen Ulmer Gmb H & Co., Stuttgart, Germany.].

Thresh JM (1980) The origins and epidemiology of some important virus diseases. Applied Biology 5: 1–65.

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How to Cite close
Salazar, LF(Apr 2006) Virus Diseases of Potatoes. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0004300]