Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Microbiology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Luteoviridae is a family of plant viruses that first were grouped because of their common biological properties. These properties include persistent transmission by aphid vectors and the induction of yellowing symptoms in many infected host plants. "Luteo" comes from the Latin luteus, which translates as yellowish. Members of the Luteoviridae also cause other symptoms in infected hosts, including orange or red discolorations and leaf deformations, such as marginal rolling or enations, and stunting. Members of the Luteoviridae cause economically important diseases in many food crops, including grains such as wheat and barley, vegetables such as potatoes and lettuce, and other crops such as legumes and sugarbeets. These diseases were recorded decades and even centuries before the causal viruses were identified. Plants infected with viruses from the Luteoviridae family display symptoms that often have been ascribed to abiotic factors, such as stressful environmental conditions. All members of the Luteoviridae are small (ca. 25-28 nm diameter) icosahedral particles, composed of one major and one minor protein component and a single molecule of messenger sense single-stranded RNA. The family is divided into three genera - Luteovirus, Polerovirus, and Enamovirus - based on the arrangements and sizes of their open reading frames.