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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 1996;34:87-108.

Fungal transmission of plant viruses.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Thirty soilborne viruses or virus-like agents are transmitted by five species of fungal vectors. Ten polyhedral viruses, of which nine are in the family Tombusviridae, are acquired in the in vitro manner and do not occur within the resting spores of their vectors, Olpidium brassicae and O. bornovanus. Fungal vectors for other viruses in the family should be sought even though tombusviruses are reputed to be soil transmitted without a vector. Eighteen rod-shaped viruses belonging to the furo- and bymovirus groups and to an unclassified group are acquired in the in vivo manner and survive within the resting spores of their vector, O. brassicae, Polymyxa graminis, P. betae, and Spongospora subterranea. The viral coat protein has an essential role in in vitro transmission. With in vivo transmission a site in the coat protein-read through protein (CP-RT) of beet necrotic yellow vein furovirus determines vector transmissibility as does a site in a similar 98-kDa polyprotein of barley mild mosaic bymovirus. The mechanisms by which virions move (or are moved) into and out of the protoplasm of zoospores or of thalli needs study.

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