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Transmissibility of Cucumber mosaic virus by Aphis gossypii Correlates with Viral Accumulation and Is Affected by the Presence of Its Satellite RNA

October 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  10
Pages  1,068 - 1,072

Fernando Escriu , Keith L. Perry , and Fernando García-Arenal

First and third authors: Depto. de Biotecnología, E.T.S.I. Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain; and second author: Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, 1155 Lilly Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907

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Accepted for publication 27 June 2000.

Satellite RNAs (satRNAs) are associated with Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in tomato, most often causing severe epidemics of necrotic plants, and not associated with specific host symptoms. Laboratory studies on virus transmission by the aphid vector Aphis gossypii were performed to better understand the dynamics of field populations of CMV. The presence of satRNAs correlated with lower concentrations of virus in infected plants and with a decrease in the efficiency of transmission from satRNA-infected plants. Both the concentration of virus in CMV-infected tomato and the efficiency of transmission varied more extensively with nonnecrogenic satRNAs than with necrogenic satRNAs. A negative effect of satRNAs on virus accumulation can account, in part, for a decrease in the field transmission and recovery of CMV + satRNAs. Aphids behaved differently and probed less readily on plants infected with CMV + necrogenic satRNAs compared with plants containing non-necrogenic satRNAs. Aphid-mediated satRNA-free CMV infections were observed in test plants when aphids were fed on source plants containing CMV + nonnecrogenic satRNA; no comparable satRNA-free test plants occurred when aphids were fed on source plants containing necrogenic satRNAs. These results indicate that factors associated with transmission can be a determinant in the evolution of natural populations of CMV and its satRNA.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society