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Tanslocation path of Banana bunchy top virus (Nanoviridae) in the aphid vector Pentalonia nigronervosa as revealed by real-time PCR and immunofluorescence assays.
A. BRESSAN (1), S. Watanabe (1). (1) University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A.

<i>Banana bunchy top virus</i> (BBTV) (family <i>Nanoviridae</i>, genus <i>Babuvirus</i>) is transmitted by the aphid vector, <i>Pentalonia nigronervosa</i> in a circulative persistent manner. There is little information on the process of BBTV internalization and transport through the aphid vector<i>.</i> In this study, we performed time-course experiments coupled with real time PCR and immunofluorescence localization assays to examine the tropism and concentration of BBTV in dissected guts, hemolymph and salivary glands. Our results indicate that BBTV translocates rapidly through the aphid vector. It internalizes through the anterior midgut where it accumulates and get retained at a very high concentrations. BBTV antigens were localized through immunofluorescence assays on the basal surface of cells forming the anterior midgut and principal salivary glands, suggesting an ongoing process of virus escaping and internalization, respectively. Interestingly, those organs can get in direct contact into the aphid, thus suggesting a possible direct translocation of virions. This study reveals a pattern of virus transport through the vector that has more in common with viruses of the family <i>Geminiviridae</i> (transmitted by leafhoppers, treehoppers and whiteflies) rather than aphid-transmitted <i>Luteoviridae</i>. <p><p>Keywords: Virus-Viroid, Tropical-Subtropical Crops, Banana

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