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Title: Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus: A decade of research and future perspectives


Submitted to: Plant Viruses
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2007
Publication Date: 7/20/2007
Citation: Meng, B., Gonsalves, D. 2007. Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus: A decade of research and future perspectives. Plant Viruses. 1:52-62.

Interpretive Summary: Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV) is one of the most widespread viruses of grapevines. The genome organization of the virus has been thoroughly characterized and much information on the molecular biology of the virus has been obtained. These data show that GRSPaV consist of a number of variants that can be clustered into four broad groups. However, despite these advances on the characterization of the virus, definitive information has not been obtained to unequivocally determine that GRSPaV is the causal agent of the Rupestris stem pitting disease. This review brings together the information on what is known on the molecular and biological properties of GRSPaV, and provides perspectives on the future areas of work that will lead to academic information as well as practical information that will be useful in managing this widespread virus.

Technical Abstract: Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV) is a single-stranded, positive polarity RNA virus of the genus Foveavirus within the family Flexiviridae. Since its identification in 1998, much advancement has been made on this virus. At present, the genomes of four distinct strains have been completely sequenced. One of the isolates, GRSPaV-SG1 was detected in the biological indicator Vitis rupestris “St. George” and does not induce disease symptoms. GRSPaV is shown to be genetically variable and is composed of a family of viral variants. These viral variants are classified into four lineages based on the reference isolates associated with each of the sequence groups. It was shown that viral variants belonging to GRSPaV-1 and GRSPaV-SG1 are the most prevalent. Specific associations have been found between two of the viral lineages with Vitis species that grow in the wild in North America, suggesting a possible scenario of origin and co-evolution of GRSPaV strains with the grapevine hosts. Based on detection of GRSPaV genomic sequences, it was proposed that GRSPaV is the putative causal agent for two different diseases: Rupestris Stem Pitting and Vein Necrosis. The mode of transmission and economic importance of GRSPaV are also discussed. In the end, we present our views on future directions for GRSPaV research.