Special Issue "Plant Virus Epidemiology"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Dirk Janssen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IFAPA, Sustainable Plant Protection, 04745 La Mojonera, Almeria, Spain
Interests: etiology of plant diseases; plant virus detection; epidemiology and control; virus–vector–plant relationships
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Leticia Ruiz García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Research and Training in Agriculture and Fisheries, IFAPA La Mojonera, Camino San Nicolás, 1. La Mojonera, 04745 Almería, Spain
Interests: plant virology; plant pathology; plant virus resistance; plant virus susceptibility; molecular diagnosis; genomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant viruses cause important economic losses in many agronomic systems. Knowledge of plant virus epidemiology is needed to provide clues for successful control, either as part of sustainable disease management strategies involving genetically resistant plants, or as the only virus disease management method. Virus epidemics continue to pose threats to plants in many countries and climate change and rapid population growth are expected to reduce plant biodiversity and to affect the production of food. Recent changes in cultivars and in agronomic practices, such as the intensity of crop cultivation and biological and integrated pest and disease management, are also expected to affect the epidemiology of viruses and challenge current virus control strategies. More than ever we need new and detailed knowledge on how epidemics initiate and evolve to predict their evolution, at regional and at pandemic scale. We also need to improve our knowledge of the biology and behavior of virus vectors. On a smaller scale, new information on the interactions between viruses, plants, and vectors (if any) is needed. Molecular epidemiology reveals the existence of genetic variations within plant virus populations, and modern virus detection technologies help to enhance our understanding of how virus epidemics develop and validate potentially useful virus control measures.

In this Special Issue, articles (original research papers, perspectives, hypotheses, opinions, reviews, and modeling approaches and methods) that focus on plant virus epidemiology at all levels including spatio-temporal virus spread dynamics and molecular epidemiology, and ecosystems comprising field and greenhouse crops, trees, native species, and aquatic plants are most welcome.

Dr. Dirk Janssen
Dr. Leticia Ruiz García
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • disease
  • control
  • ecology

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Special Issue: “Plant Virus Epidemiology”
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061188 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
We are pleased to present this Special Issue on the topic of “Plant virus Epidemiology” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)

Research

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Article
Resistance to Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus in Cucumis melo
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061077 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) is a severe threat to melon production worldwide. At present, there are no cultivars available on the market which show an effective resistance or tolerance to CGMMV infection; only wild Cucumis species were reported as resistant. Germplasm [...] Read more.
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) is a severe threat to melon production worldwide. At present, there are no cultivars available on the market which show an effective resistance or tolerance to CGMMV infection; only wild Cucumis species were reported as resistant. Germplasm accessions of Cucumis melo, as well as C. anguria, C. ficifolius, C. myriocarpus and C. metuliferus, were mechanically infected with isolates belonging to the European and Asian strain of CGMMV and screened for resistance by scoring symptom severity and comparing the accumulation of virus by qRT-PCR. The wild species C. anguria and C. ficifolius showed no symptoms and did not accumulate CGGMV following inoculation, while C. metuliferus was highly susceptible to the isolates of both strains of CGMMV. The virus accumulated also in C. myriocarpus and the European isolate produced symptoms, but the Asian isolate did not. Thirty C. melo accessions were susceptible to CGMMV. An isolate-dependent expression of symptoms was observed in 16 melon accessions: they showed mild and severe symptoms at 14 and 21 days after inoculation with the European and Asian isolate, respectively. Freeman’s Cucumber showed few or no symptoms following inoculation with the isolate of either CGMMV strain. This particular accession also showed reduced virus accumulation, whereas most other tested germplasm accessions showed significantly higher viral loads and, therefore, may well be a candidate for breeding programs aiming to reduce the losses produced by CGMMV with resistant commercial melon cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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Article
Assessment of the Current Status of Potyviruses in Watermelon and Pumpkin Crops in Spain: Epidemiological Impact of Cultivated Plants and Mixed Infections
Plants 2021, 10(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010138 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Viral infections on cucurbit plants cause substantial quality and yield losses on their crops. The diseased plants can often be infected by multiple viruses, and their epidemiology may depend, in addition to the agro-ecological management practices, on the combination of these viral infections. [...] Read more.
Viral infections on cucurbit plants cause substantial quality and yield losses on their crops. The diseased plants can often be infected by multiple viruses, and their epidemiology may depend, in addition to the agro-ecological management practices, on the combination of these viral infections. Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) is one of the most prevalent viruses in cucurbit crops, and Moroccan watermelon mosaic virus (MWMV) emerged as a related species that threatens these crops. The occurrence of WMV and MWMV was monitored in a total of 196 apical-leaf samples of watermelon and pumpkin plants that displayed mosaic symptoms. The samples were collected from 49 fields in three major cucurbit-producing areas in Spain (Castilla La-Mancha, Alicante, and Murcia) for three consecutive (2018–2020) seasons. A molecular hybridization dot-blot method revealed that WMV was mainly (53%) found in both cultivated plants, with an unadvertised occurrence of MWMV. To determine the extent of cultivated plant species and mixed infections on viral dynamics, two infectious cDNA clones were constructed from a WMV isolate (MeWM7), and an MWMV isolate (ZuM10). Based on the full-length genomes, both isolates were grouped phylogenetically with the Emergent and European clades, respectively. Five-cucurbit plant species were infected steadily with either WMV or MWMV cDNA clones, showing variations on symptom expressions. Furthermore, the viral load varied depending on the plant species and infection type. In single infections, the WMV isolate showed a higher viral load than the MWMV isolate in melon and pumpkin, and MWMV only showed higher viral load than the WMV isolate in zucchini plants. However, in mixed infections, the viral load of the WMV isolate was greater than MWMV isolate in melon, watermelon and zucchini, whereas MWMV isolate was markedly reduced in zucchini. These results suggest that the impaired distribution of MWMV in cucurbit crops may be due to the cultivated plant species, in addition to the high prevalence of WMV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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Article
The Potential Risk of Plant-Virus Disease Initiation by Infected Tomatoes
Plants 2020, 9(5), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050623 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3083
Abstract
During 2019, tomato fruits showing viral-like symptoms of marbled yellow spots were abundant in Israel. The new symptoms were distinctive from those typical of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) infection but resembled symptoms of pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) infection. RT-PCR analysis and [...] Read more.
During 2019, tomato fruits showing viral-like symptoms of marbled yellow spots were abundant in Israel. The new symptoms were distinctive from those typical of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) infection but resembled symptoms of pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) infection. RT-PCR analysis and the serological tests (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, western blot and in situ immunofluorescence) revealed and confirmed the presence of both the tobamovirus ToBRFV and the potexvirus PepMV in the symptomatic fruits. A mixture of rod-like and filamentous particles, characteristic of viruses belonging to tobamovirus and potexvirus genera, was visualized by transmission electron microscopy of the tomato fruit viral extract. Sanger sequencing of amplified PepMV-coat protein gene segments showed ~98% sequence identity to the Chilean (CH2)-strain. In a biological assay testing the contribution of traded infected tomatoes to the establishment of tomato plant disease, we applied direct and indirect inoculation modes using Tm-22-resistant tomato plants. The results, assessed by disease symptom development along with serological and molecular analyses, showed that the ToBRFV and PepMV co-infected fruits were an effective inoculum source for disease spread only when fruits were damaged. Importantly, intact fruits did not spread the viral disease. These results added a new factor to disease epidemiology of these viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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Article
The Spread and Transmission of Sweet Potato Virus Disease (SPVD) and Its Effect on the Gene Expression Profile in Sweet Potato
Plants 2020, 9(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040492 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) is the most devastating viral disease in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.), causing substantial yield losses worldwide. We conducted a systemic investigation on the spread, transmission, and pathogenesis of SPVD. Field experiments conducted over two years [...] Read more.
Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) is the most devastating viral disease in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.), causing substantial yield losses worldwide. We conducted a systemic investigation on the spread, transmission, and pathogenesis of SPVD. Field experiments conducted over two years on ten sweet potato varieties showed that SPVD symptoms first occurred in newly developed top leaves, and spread from adjacent to distant plants in the field. The SPVD incidence was mainly (but not only) determined by the resistance of the varieties planted, and each variety exhibited a characteristic subset of SPVD symptoms. SPVD was not robustly transmitted through friction inoculation, but friction of the main stem might contribute to a higher SPVD incidence rate compared to friction of the leaf and branch tissues. Furthermore, our results suggested that SPVD might be latent in the storage root. Therefore, using virus-free storage roots and cuttings, purposeful monitoring for SPVD according to variety-specific symptoms, and swiftly removing infected plants (especially during the later growth stages) would help control and prevent SPVD during sweet potato production. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed that numerous genes involved in photosynthesis, starch and sucrose metabolism, flavonoid biosynthesis, and carotenoid biosynthesis were downregulated following SPVD, whereas those involved in monolignol biosynthesis, zeatin biosynthesis, trehalose metabolism, and linoleic acid metabolism were upregulated. Notably, critical genes involved in pathogenesis and plant defense were significantly induced or suppressed following SPVD. These data provide insights into the molecular changes of sweet potato in response to SPVD and elucidate potential SPVD pathogenesis and defense mechanisms in sweet potato. Our study provides important information that can be used to tailor sustainable SPVD control strategies and guide the molecular breeding of SPVD-resistant sweet potato varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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Review

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Review
Global Plant Virus Disease Pandemics and Epidemics
Plants 2021, 10(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020233 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2731
Abstract
The world’s staple food crops, and other food crops that optimize human nutrition, suffer from global virus disease pandemics and epidemics that greatly diminish their yields and/or produce quality. This situation is becoming increasingly serious because of the human population’s growing food requirements [...] Read more.
The world’s staple food crops, and other food crops that optimize human nutrition, suffer from global virus disease pandemics and epidemics that greatly diminish their yields and/or produce quality. This situation is becoming increasingly serious because of the human population’s growing food requirements and increasing difficulties in managing virus diseases effectively arising from global warming. This review provides historical and recent information about virus disease pandemics and major epidemics that originated within different world regions, spread to other continents, and now have very wide distributions. Because they threaten food security, all are cause for considerable concern for humanity. The pandemic disease examples described are six (maize lethal necrosis, rice tungro, sweet potato virus, banana bunchy top, citrus tristeza, plum pox). The major epidemic disease examples described are seven (wheat yellow dwarf, wheat streak mosaic, potato tuber necrotic ringspot, faba bean necrotic yellows, pepino mosaic, tomato brown rugose fruit, and cucumber green mottle mosaic). Most examples involve long-distance virus dispersal, albeit inadvertent, by international trade in seed or planting material. With every example, the factors responsible for its development, geographical distribution and global importance are explained. Finally, an overall explanation is given of how to manage global virus disease pandemics and epidemics effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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Review
The Epidemiology of Plant Virus Disease: Towards a New Synthesis
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1768; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121768 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Epidemiology is the science of how disease develops in populations, with applications in human, animal and plant diseases. For plant diseases, epidemiology has developed as a quantitative science with the aims of describing, understanding and predicting epidemics, and intervening to mitigate their consequences [...] Read more.
Epidemiology is the science of how disease develops in populations, with applications in human, animal and plant diseases. For plant diseases, epidemiology has developed as a quantitative science with the aims of describing, understanding and predicting epidemics, and intervening to mitigate their consequences in plant populations. Although the central focus of epidemiology is at the population level, it is often necessary to recognise the system hierarchies present by scaling down to the individual plant/cellular level and scaling up to the community/landscape level. This is particularly important for diseases caused by plant viruses, which in most cases are transmitted by arthropod vectors. This leads to range of virus-plant, virus-vector and vector-plant interactions giving a distinctive character to plant virus epidemiology (whilst recognising that some fungal, oomycete and bacterial pathogens are also vector-borne). These interactions have epidemiological, ecological and evolutionary consequences with implications for agronomic practices, pest and disease management, host resistance deployment, and the health of wild plant communities. Over the last two decades, there have been attempts to bring together these differing standpoints into a new synthesis, although this is more apparent for evolutionary and ecological approaches, perhaps reflecting the greater emphasis on shorter often annual time scales in epidemiological studies. It is argued here that incorporating an epidemiological perspective, specifically quantitative, into this developing synthesis will lead to new directions in plant virus research and disease management. This synthesis can serve to further consolidate and transform epidemiology as a key element in plant virus research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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Review
Plant Viruses Infecting Solanaceae Family Members in the Cultivated and Wild Environments: A Review
Plants 2020, 9(5), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050667 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2004
Abstract
Plant viruses infecting crop species are causing long-lasting economic losses and are endangering food security worldwide. Ongoing events, such as climate change, changes in agricultural practices, globalization of markets or changes in plant virus vector populations, are affecting plant virus life cycles. Because [...] Read more.
Plant viruses infecting crop species are causing long-lasting economic losses and are endangering food security worldwide. Ongoing events, such as climate change, changes in agricultural practices, globalization of markets or changes in plant virus vector populations, are affecting plant virus life cycles. Because farmer’s fields are part of the larger environment, the role of wild plant species in plant virus life cycles can provide information about underlying processes during virus transmission and spread. This review focuses on the Solanaceae family, which contains thousands of species growing all around the world, including crop species, wild flora and model plants for genetic research. In a first part, we analyze various viruses infecting Solanaceae plants across the agro-ecological interface, emphasizing the important role of virus interactions between the cultivated and wild zones as global changes affect these environments on both local and global scales. To cope with these changes, it is necessary to adjust prophylactic protection measures and diagnostic methods. As illustrated in the second part, a complex virus research at the landscape level is necessary to obtain relevant data, which could be overwhelming. Based on evidence from previous studies we conclude that Solanaceae plant communities can be targeted to address complete life cycles of viruses with different life strategies within the agro-ecological interface. Data obtained from such research could then be used to improve plant protection methods by taking into consideration environmental factors that are impacting the life cycles of plant viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Epidemiology)
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