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Dahlia Resource center

The Dahlia Resource center, supported by the Scheetz-Chuey Charitable Foundation, seeks to be the leading center of excellence in the identification and development of technologies useful to dahlia growers and to evolve to be a source of clean dahlia stock. Research activities at the center include detection and diagnosis of dahlia-infecting viruses, developing integrated disease management programs that are eco-friendly and improving dahlia productivity through collaboration and communication with the American Dahlia Society (ADS), researchers, growers, and other stakeholders.

Mission statement:

to stay current in providing technological solutions to existing and future challenges/problems to the dahlia industry


to be a leading center in the technological advancement, and in maintaining sustainability and economic viability of the dahlia industry

The center in action

Detection and Diagnosis

Virus detection methods include:

  • Immunostrips and ELISA – immunostrips may be used onsite
  • PCR and isothermal amplification techniques
  • Next-generation sequencing

Samples can be sent to our lab for virus detection and diagnosis

Virus-induced symptoms

Virus-induced symptoms include:

  • Mosaic pattern on the leaves – presence of a mixture of dark green and light green ‘islands’ or patches on leaves.
  • Necrotic spots/ringspots on leaves
  • Chlorotic, yellow spots on leaves
  • Wilting
  • Stunting and leaf distortion
  • Flower color-breaking

Some infections may be symptomless depending on the virus-host combination

Bright green and light green to yellowish coloring pattern on leaves, a typical symptom of virus infection
Thrips sticking on a blue sticky insect trap

How to manage viruses

Once a plant is infected, it cannot yet be cured of virus infection. The only way to control plant viruses is to avoid virus introduction and prevent secondary spread to more plants. The following approaches can be used to manage viruses:

  • Plant virus-free material
  • Eliminate infected plants and tubers
  • Disinfect tools using 10% bleach or Virkon S
  • Use detergent and water to remove virus on hands and tools
  • Pest management – prevent the spread of the virus by vectors