Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Like animals and plants, viruses have been assigned scientific names. In this chapter we present a detailed description of a family of plant viruses called the Luteoviridae. Even though viruses in the Luteoviridae family infect a wide variety of plants, they have similar biological, biochemical, and genetic properties. The virus family is further divided into three subdivisions, each called a genus. The viruses within a genus are more similar to the other members of the genus than they are to the viruses in the other two genera. This description will be useful to research scientist who are studying plant viruses and their ancestral relationships. This description also will be useful to plant disease diagnosticians who need general information about the properties of the viruses including the types of symptoms the viruses produce and the types of insects that spread the viruses from plant to plant.
Technical Abstract: Members of the Luteoviridae family of plant viruses occur worldwide; some viruses have restricted distribution. Most members have natural host ranges largely restricted to one plant family. Many members cause significant losses in crop plants. Transmission is in a circulative, non-propagative manner by specific aphid vectors. PEMV-1 is readily transmitted mechanically, a property dependent on PEMV-2 (an umbravirus), but loss of aphid transmissibility occurs after several mechanical passages. The Luteoviridae are divided into three genera, luteovirus, polerovirus, and enamovirus. Virions are 25 to 30 nm in diameter, hexagonal in outline and have no envelope. They exhibit icosahedral symmetry (T = 3). Particles are composed of two proteins and a single infectious, linear, positive-sense ssRNA molecule. A small protein covalently linked to the 5' end of the genomic RNA (VPg) has been reported for two poleroviruses. For luteoviruses and poleroviruses virion Mr is about 6 X 10+6. For enamoviruses Mr is about 5.6 X 10+6 (B component) and 4.5 X 10+6 (T component). Virions of all members are moderately stable and are insensitive to freezing or treatment with chloroform or non-ionic detergents. The genome size is fairly uniform and RNAs do not have a 3'-terminal poly (A) tract.