AbstractRubus yellow net virus (RYNV) infects Rubus species and cultivars worldwide and is an essential component of raspberry vein banding mosaic (RVBMD), a virus disease complex that causes serious decline in plant vigour and productivity. The virus is transmitted, probably in a semi-persistent manner, by the large raspberry aphid, Amphorophora idaei in Europe, and A. agathonica in North America. The particles of RYNV are bacilliform in shape and measure 80-150 x 25-30 nm, similar to those of badnaviruses. A 1.7 kb fragment of the viral DNA was amplified by PCR and then directly sequenced. Analysis of this sequence suggests that RYNV is possibly a distinct species in the genus Badnavirus and is most closely related to gooseberry vein banding associated virus (GVBAV) and spiraea yellow leaf spot virus, two other badnaviruses described recently. Using the sequence derived from the PCR-amplified viral DNA fragment, RYNV-specific primers were designed and used in PCR to assay for RYNV in a range of Rubus germplasm infected with RYNV, with other unrelated viruses and virus-like diseases found in Rubus, and in healthy plants. RYNV was detected in all glasshouse cultures of RYNV-infected plants, whether alone or in complex infections with other viruses, but not from healthy Rubus plants, nor from plants infected with other viruses. It was also detected in field-grown raspberry plants with and without symptoms of RVBMD and in raspberry plants infected with RYNV by viruliferous A. idaei. RYNV was also detected by PCR in A. idaei following access feeds on RYNV-infected plants of 1 h or more. PCR failed to amplify DNA from gooseberry infected with GVBAV confirming the specificity of the RYNV analysis. PCR detection of RYNV in dormant raspberry buds allows assays to be made outside the natural growing season, providing a useful application for plant introduction and quarantine programmes.