First and third authors: INRA, Pathologie Végétale, BP 94, 84143 Montfavet Cedex, France; second author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616; and fourth and fifth authors: Istituto di Fitovirologia Applicata, CNR, Strada delle Cacce 73, I-10135 Torino, Italy
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Accepted for publication 20 November 2001.
Big-vein disease occurs on lettuce worldwide in temperate conditions; the causal agent has been presumed to be Lettuce big-vein virus (LBVV), genus Varicosavirus, vectored by the soilborne fungus Olpidium brassicae. Recently, the role of LBVV in the etiology of big-vein disease has been questioned because a second soilborne virus, Mirafiori lettuce virus (MiLV), genus Ophiovirus, has been found frequently in big-vein-affected lettuce. LBVV and MiLV, detectable and distinguishable by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using specific antisera, were tested for their ability to be transmitted from lettuce to lettuce by mechanical inoculation of sap extracts, or by zoospores of O. brassicae, and to cause big-vein disease. Both viruses were mechanically transmissible from lettuce to herbaceous hosts and to lettuce, but very erratically. LBVV was transmitted by O. brassicae but lettuce infected with only this virus never showed symptoms. MiLV was transmitted in the same manner, and lettuce infected with this virus alone consistently developed big-vein symptoms regardless of the presence or absence of LBVV. With repeated mechanical transmission, isolates of both viruses appeared to lose the ability to be vectored, and MiLV appeared to lose the ability to cause big-vein symptoms. The recovery of MiLV (Mendocino isolate, from Cali-fornia) from stored O. brassicae resting spores puts the earliest directly demonstrable existence of MiLV at 1990.
© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society