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New cannabis virus detected: citrus yellow vein-associated virus (CYVaV) affecting crops in Washington

A recent report identifies three pathogens affecting crops in Washington State. While hop latent viroid and beet curly top virus are unfortunately familiar in the cannabis industry, one of the identified viruses may not yet be as familiar among cannabis growers: citrus yellow vein-associated virus.

The report explains that in 2021 and 2022, virus-like symptoms were observed in several cultivars of hemp in two fields in central Washington, USA. Affected plants had a range of symptoms at different developmental stages, with young plants having severe stunting with shortened internodes and reduced flower mass. Young leaves of infected plants also showed light green to total yellowing and twirling with twisting margins. Infections of older plants caused less foliar symptoms that consisted of mosaic, mottling, and mild chlorosis on a few branches with tacoing of older leaves. 

To assess if the symptomatic plants were infected with Beet curly top virus (BCTV), symptomatic leaves were collected from 38 plants. BCTV was found in 37 of the 38 plants. Moreover, samples indicated co-infections of CYVaV and HLVd in individual plants. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of two strains of BCTV (BCTV-CO and BCTV-Wor), CYVaV, and HLVd infecting cannabis in Washington state," the researchers say.

According to a research published in 2021, CYVaV was also identified in hemp in Colorado, along with opuntia umbra-like virus. "To our knowledge, this is the first report of CYVaV and OULV in hemp," the authors said.

To read the full report, go to

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