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Retention of Rice dwarf virus by Descendants of Pairs of Viruliferous Vector Insects After Rearing for 6 Years

June 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  6
Pages  712 - 716

Kazuto Honda , Taiyun Wei , Kyoji Hagiwara , Takahiko Higashi , Ikuo Kimura , Katsumi Akutsu , and Toshihiro Omura

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh authors: National Agricultural Research Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8666, Japan; first and sixth authors: Faculty of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ami, Ibaraki 300-0332, Japan.

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Accepted for publication 9 January 2007.

Rice dwarf virus (RDV) is characterized by its unusual ability to multiply in both plants and leafhopper vector insects and by its transovarial mode of transmission. Colonies of Nephotettix cincticeps, derived originally from pairs of leafhoppers infected with an ordinary strain of RDV, were maintained for 6 years in the laboratory and were found, at the end of this time, still to harbor RDV. Moreover, the isolate of RDV, designated RDV-I, obtained from these colonies retained the ability to infect rice plants. When we raised leafhoppers separately from eggs that had been placed individually on pieces of water-soaked filter paper and reared them in the presence of healthy rice seedlings, we found that all of these leafhoppers harbored RDV. This observation suggested that RDV-I had been maintained in the leafhoppers by transovarial transmission. Two further observations, namely, the low rate of acquisition of RDV by virus-free insect nymphs on symptomless plants on which viruliferous insects had been reared, and the fact that only 2 to 5% of plants had symptoms when rice seedlings were inoculated via RDV-I-viruliferous insects, confirmed that the maintenance of RDV-I by any other mode of transmission through plants and insects was unlikely. This efficient and long-term maintenance of RDV in a population of viruliferous insects might explain the prolonged duration of rice dwarf disease in the field, once there has been a serious outbreak.

Additional keyword: Phytoreovirus.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society