Members of the Luteoviridae family, or luteovirids, are plant viruses that can infect a wide range of host plants, including many important crops such as cereals, potato, sugar beet, cucurbits, legumes and sugarcane. Their icosahedral virions contain a single positive‐sense 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.

More data are accumulating on plant–luteovirid relationships and in particular on the mechanism developed by the virus to overcome plant defence. The tight interaction between luteovirids, their aphid vector and their host plant are also extensively studied. Information from these studies together with a better understanding of the epidemiology of luteovirids will help to combat their detrimental effects on crops.

Key Concepts

  • Luteovirids 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.
  • Luteovirids are confined to phloem tissue, but the causes of their phloem restriction are not completely deciphered.
  • Luteovirids circulate in the vector aphid's body, without any replication, by crossing the gut and the accessory salivary gland epithelia.
  • Epidemiology of luteovirids 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; gene expression; aphid transmission; epidemiology; virus control

Figure 1. Genome organisation and map of the translation products of the type‐members of each genus: (a) Barley yellow dwarf virus‐PAV, (b) Potato leafroll virus and (c) Pea enation mosaic virus‐1. Purple rectangles are open readings frames (ORFs). Blue, orange and green rectangles are proteins translated from ORFs and their molecular weight in kilo Dalton (K). VPg: Viral protein genome‐linked, RNAsg: Subgenomic RNA.
Figure 2. Purified viral particles of turnip yellows virus. Courtesy of C. Reinbold. Bar, 100 nm.
Figure 3. Diagram of the route of luteovirid virions through the aphid vector. AG, accessory salivary gland; PG, principal salivary gland. Source: Adapted from Smith HG and Barker H (eds) (1999) The Luteoviridae, 297 pp. Oxon: CAB International.


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Further Reading

Bosque‐Pérez NA and Eigenbrode SD (2011) The influence of virus‐induced changes in plants on aphid vectors: insights from luteovirus pathosystems. Virus Research 159: 201–205.

Eigenbrode SD, Bosque‐Pérez NA and Davis TS (2018) Insect‐borne plant pathogens and their vectors: ecology, evolution, and complex interactions. Annual Review of Entomology 63: 169–191.

Gray S and Gildow FE (2003) Luteovirus–aphid interactions. Annual Review of Phytopathology 41: 539–566.

Mauck KE, Bosque‐Pérez NA, Eigenbrode SD, et al. (2012) Transmission mechanisms shape pathogen effects on host–vector interactions: evidence from plant viruses. Functional Ecology 26: 1162–1175.

Mauck KE (2016) Variation in virus effects on host plant phenotypes and insect vector behavior: what can it teach us about virus evolution? Current Opinion in Virology 21: 114–123.

Mayo M and Ziegler‐Graff V (1996) Molecular biology of luteoviruses. Advances in Virus Research 46: 413–460.

Miller WA, Liu S and Beckett R (2002) Barley yellow dwarf virus: Luteoviridae or Tombusviridae? Molecular Plant Pathology 3: 177–183.

Taliansky M, Mayo MA and Barker H (2003) Potato leafroll virus: a classic pathogen shows some new tricks. Molecular Plant Pathology 4: 81–89.

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Boissinot, Sylvaine, Brault, Véronique, and Herrbach, Etienne(Sep 2020) Luteovirids. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0029206]