Luteoviruses, that is, members of the Luteoviridae family, are plant viruses that can infect a wide range of host plants, including many important crops such as cereals, cucurbits, legumes, potato, sugarbeet and sugar cane. Their icosahedral virions contain a single (+) ribonucleic acid genome in a capsid composed of two structural proteins. They are limited to phloem cells in host plants and are only transmitted by aphids in a circulative and nonpropagative mode with high specificity.

Growing data are accumulating on plant–luteovirus relationships and more particularly on the mechanism developed by the virus to overcome plant defence. The tight interaction between luteoviruses and their aphid vector has also been extensively studied. Information from these studies together with a better understanding of the epidemiology of luteoviruses will help to combat their detrimental effects on crops.

Key Concepts:

  • Luteoviruses have a highly compacted genome and use a diversity of translation mechanisms to express viral proteins.

  • Function of the viral gene products is known, but their plant and aphid partners have not been fully identified.

  • Luteoviruses are confined to phloem tissue, but the causes of their phloem restriction are not completely deciphered.

  • Luteoviruses circulate in the vector aphid's body, without any replication, by crossing the gut and the accessory salivary gland epithelia.

  • Epidemiology of luteoviruses reveals a high complexity of mutual ecological interactions between virus, plant and vector, influenced by multiple biotic and abiotic factors.

  • Control of luteoviral diseases includes cultural practices, insecticidal measures, natural and biotechnological plant resistance and epidemiology‐based forecasting systems.

Keywords: plant virus; genome organisation; aphid transmission; epidemiology; virus control

Figure 1.

Genome organisation and map of the translation products of (a) Barley yellow dwarf virus‐PAV, (b) Potato leafroll virus and (c) Pea enation mosaic virus‐1.

Figure 2.

Purified viral particles of Turnip yellows virus. Courtesy of C Reinbold. Bar, 100 nm.

Figure 3.

Diagram of the route of circulative transmitted luteoviruses through the aphid vector. AG, accessory salivary gland; PG, principal salivary gland. Adapted from FE Gildow, in Smith and Barker .



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Further Reading

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Brault, Véronique, Herrbach, Etienne, and Rodriguez‐Medina, Caren(Mar 2011) Luteoviruses. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000751.pub3]