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Symptoms are most characteristic on some sour cherry cultivars such as Montmorency, and on some hybrids between sweet cherry and sour cherry. Foliage symptoms in mature sour cherry typically appear in July (i.e., about 4-6 weeks after petal fall), and include the presence of chlorotic constrictions along the leaf veins, leading to asymmetric distortion of the leaf lamina, and by the occurrence of yellow leaves prominently marked with deep green blotches or rings. Some strains of the virus may also cause necrotic spots. High temperatures seem to promote the development of symptoms in sour cherry. Mottled leaves, commonly found in the shaded, inner areas of the tree, drop a few weeks after symptoms appear, but new mottle symptoms may appear as late as September. Fruit from infected trees have necrotic pits or rings in the epidermis with ring-shaped areas of necrosis deep in the flesh. Infected fruits are bitter and off-flavour (Németh, 1986; Parker et al., 1976).
In some Duke cherry cultivars (e.g., Late Duke, May Duke, Reine Hortense) the virus causes the typical green and yellow leaf mottle (Parker et al., 1976).
Typical symptoms in oriental flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata) include leaf epinasty, veinal necrosis, bark splitting and dieback. Unlike in sour cherry, these symptoms in flowering cherry are more pronounced at cooler temperatures (e.g., 18°C) (Parker et al., 1976).
Sweet cherry, peach and apricot are generally symptomless. Peach cultivars such as Halehaven, Sunhaven, Richaven, Glohaven and Suncling are frequently infected (Smith et al., 1988).
Control is achieved through the use of virus-free planting stock and removal of infected trees. The virus appears to be relatively resistant to heat therapy. For its elimination, more prolonged heat treatments are necessary than for any other viruses of stone fruits (Parker et al., 1976; Németh, 1986).
The virus can cause significant losses in some commercial sour cherry cultivars (e.g., Montmorency). Infected fruits are bitter and off-flavour, leading to significant reductions in the marketability of the crop. In oriental flowering cherry, the virus causes epinasty of the foliage, bark splitting and sometimes dieback (Németh, 1986; Smith et al., 1988).
In latently infected fruit species such as sweet cherry, peach or apricot, the effect on growth and crop yield have not been established (Németh, 1986), but in general, there appears to be little or no impact on tree growth or yields (Parker et al., 1976).