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J Gen Virol. 1997 Oct;78 ( Pt 10):2701-5.

Intracellular ingestion and salivation by aphids may cause the acquisition and inoculation of non-persistently transmitted plant viruses.

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Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales, CSIC, Serrano, Madrid, Spain.


Transmission of non-persistent plant viruses is related to aphid behaviour during superficial brief probes. A widely accepted hypothesis postulates that virus acquisition occurs during ingestion of plant cell contents, and inoculation during egestion or regurgitation of previously ingested sap. Although conceptually attractive, this ingestion-egestion hypothesis has not been clearly demonstrated. Furthermore, it overlooks the anatomy of the tips of the stylets (mouthparts) and, consequently, the potential role of salivation in the inoculation process. Here, we used the electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique to investigate aphid-stylet activities associated with uptake (acquisition) and release (inoculation) of two non-persistently transmitted viruses. Our results show that acquisition occurs primarily during the last sub-phase (II-3) of intracellular stylet punctures, whereas inoculation is achieved during the first sub-phase (II-1). An alternative mechanism to the ingestion-egestion hypothesis is proposed on the basis of our findings.

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