New blueberry disease strains appear in B.C.
Added on 05 June 2023
But now, a mysterious new problem is threatening B.C.’s blueberry industry – visibly sick plants are testing negative for unknown causes. More and more blueberry bushes are being affected each season. Researchers on a two-year project funded by Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) are playing the role of plant detectives to solve this mystery.
“In 2020, for instance, 18 per cent of samples from damaged plants tested negative for both the blueberry scorch virus and blueberry shock virus. We need to know what is affecting these blueberry bushes to find out how to reduce the spread of disease,” says Jim Mattsson, associate professor in the department of biological sciences at Simon Fraser University and lead researcher on the project, in a press release.