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SUMMARY

A larger proportion of tubers of Arran Pilot potato growing at the surface of soil infested with potato mop-top virus (PMTV) showed spraing symptoms (brown rings) at harvest than of tubers from below the surface. Infected tubers with or without spraing developed a spraing ring when stored in darkness, first for 1–2 wk at 18 d̀C and then for 1–2 wk at any constant temperature between 5 and 13 d̀C. Only a faint surface ring developed when either of these periods was decreased to 1 day; 4-day periods were needed to induce distinct symptoms. Internal tuber symptoms developed more slowly than surface symptoms, and their formation was favoured by cutting the tubers in half. Additional pigmented surface rings were produced outside the first ring by successive cycles of treatment at 18 and 9d̀. Spraing did not develop when the first stage of treatment was at 22–25d̀, when the tubers were kept first at 10d̀ and then at 5d̀, when the treatment at 5–13d̀ preceded that at 18d̀, or when the tubers were kept at constant temperatures ranging from 5 to 25d̀.

When tubers of six potato varieties were grown in PMTV-infested soil and then stored at temperatures designed to induce symptoms, the varieties known to be the most susceptible in the field were those which had the greatest tendency to develop spraing during storage. When infected tubers were exposed to light, typical spraing symptoms were not induced, but greening of the tuber surface was much delayed in localized ring-shaped areas, so that pale weals appeared.

Spraing symptoms were produced, in favourable conditions, by the reaction of cells at the periphery of the PMTV-invaded zone. Internal spraing did not prevent PMTV invading tissue outside the brown arcs; its rate of spread was about 10 μm/h at 14–18d̀.