The inner lining of the food canal of nematodes that transmit plantinfecting viruses is regarded as the retention region of viruses. To characterize the location of transmissible and nontransmissible viruses in the vector nematode Xiphinema americanum, three nepoviruses, Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), Tomato ringspot virus(TomRSV), and Cherry leaf roll virus(CLRV), and one non-nematode-transmissible virus, Squash mosaic virus (SqMV), were evaluated for transmission efficiency and localization sites in the nematode. Transmission trials showed highest transmission efficiency for TomRSV (38% with 1 and 100% with 10 nematodes, respectively), intermediate efficiency for TRSV (27% with 1 and 65% with 10 nematodes, respectively), and no transmission for CLRV and SqMV. Electron microscopy and immunofluorescent labeling revealed that TRSV was primarily localized to the lining of the lumen of the stylet extension and the anterior esophagus, but only rarely in the triradiate lumen. Within a nematode population, particles of TRSV were no longer observed in these three regions 10 weeks after acquisition, and it is assumed that there was gradual and random loss of the virus from these areas. The percentage of nematodes that were labeled by virus-specific immunofluorescent labeling in a population of viruliferous nematodes decreased gradually after TRSV acquisition when the nematodes were placed on a nonhost of the virus, and the loss of immunofluorescent labeling paralleled the decrease in the ability of the nematode population to transmit the virus. TomRSV was localized only in the triradiate lumen based on thin-section electron microscopy. No virus-like particles were observed in any part of the food canal of nematodes that had fed on CLRV-infected plants. Virus-like particles that appeared to be partially degraded were observed only in the triradiate lumen of nematodes that had fed on SqMV-infected plants. These results clarified the status of localization of two nontransmissible viruses in X. americanum and presented evidence that two nematode-transmissible viruses, TRSV and TomRSV, are localized in different regions of the food canal of X. americanum.
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