First and second authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University; and third author: USDA, ARS, Ithaca, NY 14853
The RMV strain of Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV-RMV) is an unassigned member of the Luteoviridae that causes barley yellow dwarf in various cereal crops. The virus is most efficiently vectored by the aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis, but can also be vectored with varying efficiency by R. padi and Schizaphis graminum. Field collections of alate aphids migrating into the emerging winter wheat crop in the fall of 1994 in central New York identified a high proportion of R. padi transmitting BYDV-RMV. This prompted a comparison of the BYDV-RMV isolates and the R. padi populations found in the field with type virus and aphid species maintained in the laboratory. A majority of the field isolates of BYDV-RMV were similar to each other and to the type BYDV-RMV isolate in disease severity on oat and in transmission by the laboratory-maintained population of R. maidis and a field-collected population of R. maidis. However, several field populations of R. padi differed in their ability to transmit the various BYDV-RMV isolates. The transmission efficiency of the R. padi clones was increased if acquisition and inoculation feeding periods were allowed at higher temperatures. In addition, the transmission efficiency of BYDV-RMV was significantly influenced by the aphid that inoculated the virus source tissue. In general, BYDV-RMV transmission by R. padi was higher when R. padi was the aphid that inoculated the source tissue than when R. maidis was the inoculating aphid. The magnitude of the change varied among virus isolates and R. padi clones. These results indicate that, under certain environmental conditions, R. padi can play a significant role in the epidemiology of BYDV-RMV. This may be especially significant in regions where corn is a major source of virus and of aphids that can carry virus into a fall-planted wheat crop.