Euonymus alatus (Thunb.) Sieb., commonly called the winged euonymus or burning bush, is a woody ornamental shrub popular in temperate zones of the USA The shrub is used extensively in landscaping due to its attractive bright red fall color and the fact that it is nearly problem free in the landscape. In 2012, E. alatus bushes on the St Paul campus of the University of Minnesota (USA) were observed exhibiting virus-like symptoms. During the early spring bushes would display mild leaf mottling that disappeared with later growth. Mid-summer plants had symptoms of leaf chlorosis that frequently progressed into complete branch bleaching or premature reddening. In late summer, branches would dieback and the leaves remained on the branches. Spherical virus-like particles were observed by transmission electron microscopy in symptomatic leaf tissue. Purified particle associated nucleic acid isolated was primed with random hexamers to make cDNA, cloned, and sequenced. The sequences obtained had high similarity with viruses in the family Nepovirus. This report is a partial characterization of a Nepovirus-like virus associated with Euonymus alatus dieback.
- Burning bush
- Leaf bleaching