Epidemiology of Plant Virus Diseases


The epidemiology of plant virus diseases concerns the cyclical development of virus diseases within plant populations in time and space. It deals with how and why a virus is spread by vectors in an ecosystem and is fundamental to the choice and improvement of control methods in agriculture.

Keywords: virus; vectors; crops; weeds; cultural control

Figure 1.

The factors involved in plant virus disease epidemiology, their main components and some of the significant interrelationships.



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Irwin ME and Ruesink WG (1986) Vector intensity: a product of propensity and activity. In: MacLean GD, Garrett RG and Ruesink WG (eds) Plant Virus Epidemics: Monitoring, Modelling and Predicting Outbreaks, pp. 13–33. Sydney: Academic Press.

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Power AG and Gray SM (1995) Aphid transmission of barley yellow dwarf viruses: interactions between viruses, vectors, and host plants. In: d'Arcy CJ and Burnett PA (eds) Barley Yellow Dwarf – 40 Years of Progress, pp. 259–289. St Paul, MN: APS Press.

Robert Y (1987a) Dispersion and migration, Crowding effects, flight behaviour. In: Minks AK and Harrewijn P (eds) World Crops Pests: Aphids, their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control, vol. 2A, pp. 299–313. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Robert Y (1987b) Aphid vector monitoring in Europe. In: Harris KF (ed.) Current Topics in Vector Research, vol. 3, pp. 81–129. New York: Springer.

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Thresh JM (1983) The long‐range dispersal of plant viruses by arthropod vectors. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B 302: 497–528.

Thresh JM (1986a) Plant virus dispersal. In: MacKenzie DR (eds) The Movement and Dispersal of Agriculturally Important Biotic Agents, pp. 51–101. Baton Rouge, LA: Claitor's Publishing.

Thresh JM (1986b) Plant virus disease forecasting. In: MacLean GD, Garrett RG and Ruesink WG (eds) Plant Virus Epidemics: Monitoring, Modelling and Predicting Outbreaks, pp. 359–386. Sydney: Academic Press.

Thresh JM (1987) The population dynamics of plant virus diseases. In: Wolfe MS and Caten CE (eds) Pathogens: Their Dynamics and Genetics, pp. 135–148. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.

Further Reading

Duffus JE (1971) Role of weeds in the incidence of virus diseases. Annual Review of Phytopathology 9: 319–340.

Matthews REF (1991) Plant Virology, 3rd edn. London: Academic Press.

Swenson KG (1968) Role of aphids in the ecology of plant viruses. Annual Review of Phytopathology 6: 361–374.

Sylvester ES (1980) Circulative and propagative virus transmission by aphids. Annual Review of Phytopathology 25: 257–286.

Thresh JM (1978) The epidemiology of plant virus diseases. In: Scott PR and Bainbridge A (eds) Plant Disease Epidemiology, pp. 79–89. Oxford: Blackwell.

Thresh JM (1980) The origins and epidemiology of some important plant virus diseases. Applied Biology 5: 1–65.

Thresh JM (1988) Eradication as a virus disease control measure. In: Clifford BC and Lester E (eds) Control of Plant Diseases: Costs and Benefits, pp. 155–194. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.

Tomlinson JA (1987) Epidemiology and control of virus diseases of vegetables. Annals of Applied Biology 110: 661–681.

Zitter TA (1977) Epidemiology of aphid‐borne viruses. In: Harris KF and Maramorosch K (eds) Aphids as Virus Vectors, pp. 385–412. London: Academic Press.

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Robert, Yvon(Apr 2001) Epidemiology of Plant Virus Diseases. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000759]