During the 1960s, Dutch mushroom farmers suffered severe losses from an infectious disease. Three types of virus particles were associated with the disease: isometric particles 25 and 34 run in diameter and bacilliform particles 19 run wide and 50 nm long. Symptoms were highly variable. Two, possibly three types of particle, were demonstrated in ultrathin sections of diseased fruiting bodies; one type, the 34-nm particle, was observed in sections of virus-infected mycelium from a nutrient medium and of basidiospores from diseased mushrooms.The disease spread with viable mycelium and spores from infected mushrooms. The time of infection governed loss of yield: earlier infection considerably reduced yield, whereas later infection did not. Results of the trials were used in drawing up control measures, which have been implemented among Dutch growers and have considerably reduced national losses, as shown by annual returns from the growers.
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