Submitted to: APS Net Plant Pathology Online
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2011
Publication Date: 11/3/2011
Citation: Stewart, L.R. 2011. Waikaviruses: studied but not understood. APS Net Plant Pathology Online. http://www.apsnet.org/publications/apsnetfeatures/Pages/waikavirus.aspx..
Technical Abstract: Waikaviruses are a small and unique group of plant viruses that cause important diseases in corn and rice. Rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV) is a waikavirus that is one of two viruses causing rice tungro disease, the most important viral disease of rice and a major problem in South and Southeast Asia. Another waikavirus, Maize chlorotic dwarf virus (MCDV), is one of the two most important and broadly distributed corn viruses in the United States. This article outlines the discovery and management of these disease agents. Both RTSV and MCDV are transmitted by leafhoppers, and the nature of their transmission is described. Limited information on the fundamental molecular biology of the waikaviruses, including gene expression from the ~12000 nt RNA genomes and how the proteins they encode function to cause disease. The unique molecular features of waikaviruses are reviewed in this article, and areas for future study suggested