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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366892

Research Project: Detection, Identification, and Characterization of New and Emerging Viral and Bacterial Diseases of Ornamental Plants

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research

Title: Ophioviruses (Aspiviridae)

item VIARA, ANNA MARIA - National Research Council - Italy
item Hammond, John

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Virology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2020
Publication Date: 3/13/2020
Citation: Viara, A., Hammond, J. 2020. Ophioviruses (Aspiviridae). Encyclopedia of Virology. 447-454.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The genus Ophiovirus is the only genus listed in the family Aspiviridae (formerly Ophioviridae), order Serpentovirales. The genus comprises plant-infecting virus species. In some cases ophioviruses are known to be the cause of well-known and ‘classical’ major plant diseases, but in other cases the presence of the virus has not been linked to any specific symptom, due to almost invariable occurrence in mixed infections with other viruses. Ophioviruses occur in monocots and dicots, in vegetables, ornamentals, trees and shrubs, in the New and Old World, suggesting a well-adapted group of viruses containing more species than the ones already discovered. Where identified, the vectors of ophioviruses have proved to belong to Olpidium spp., soil-inhabiting chytrid fungi. Ophioviruses have been slow to emerge mainly because the virions are not easy to see in the electron microscope; indeed, the first ophiovirus particle was observed only in 1988 and its morphology understood in 1994. The genus name derives from the Greek word ophis, meaning snake, in reference to the serpentine appearance of the virus particles and the family name derives from the Latin word aspis, with the same meaning.