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Little Cherry Virus 2 in Australia

old revision
Publication Date
Fri, 23 Jun 2023, 05:33
Last Updated
June 23, 2023, 5:33 a.m.
Report Number
Pest Id
Little cherry virus 2 - (LCHV20)
Report Status
Prunus avium, sweet cherry
Pest Status (old values from ISPM 8 -1998 )
  • Present: only in some areas
Pest Status (ISPM 8 - 2021)
  • Present: not widely distributed and under official control
Geographical Distribution
Probably all states and territories except Northern Territory

The virus affects the overall health of the cherry tree, resulting in fruit that is smaller and lacking flavour. The fruit of sensitive cultivars may develop normally at first, but before being ready to harvest it stops maturing. Fruit remain ‘fire engine’ red and don’t progress to dark purple/mahogany/dark cherry colour. The fruit is not suitable for harvest. Overseas experience indicates that fruit symptoms vary in severity for all cultivars from season to season and from region to region. In cultivars with red or yellow fruit symptoms are milder than in dark fruited cultivars.

LChV-2 was detected in Tasmania in early 2014. Thorough tracing and surveillance were undertaken and resulted in a detection of the virus in Victoria. There are also indications that the virus may have entered Australia in plant material as early as 1976. There is a strong possibility that the virus is wide spread across Australia and may have been in the country for over 35 years – symptoms may take years to express in trees and in the past may have been attributed to other factors such as water logging or simply lack of performance; and because cuttings and grafting are used to propagate these trees.
Contact for info
Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer Australian Government Department of Agriculture GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601 [email protected]
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