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Ecology and Epidemiology

Surface Contamination of Pollen by Plant Viruses. R. I. Hamilton, Research Scientist, Research Station, Agriculture Canada, 6660 N. W. Marine Drive, Vancouver, B. C., Canada V6T 1X2; E. Leung(2), and C. Nichols(3). (2)(3)Technicians, respectively, Agriculture Canada, 6660 N. W. Marine Drive, Vancouver, B. C., Canada V6T 1X2. Phytopathology 67:395-399. Accepted for publication 22 September 1976. Copyright 1977 The American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121. All rights reserved.. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-67-395.

Electron microscopic examination of anthers from plants infected with bromegrass mosaic virus (BMV), southern bean mosaic virus (SBMV), or tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) showed that the exine of mature pollen was infested with virions. No evidence was obtained for infection of pollen by these viruses. Homogenates of pollen (SBMV-infested) or dry pollen (TMV-infested) were infectious when assayed on appropriate hosts. The implication of these findings in the epidemiology of certain mechanically transmissible viruses is discussed.

Additional keywords: pollen transmission of viruses.