Is there any plant virus which is transmitted by seeds? Yes, there are a lot, pepper mottle virus (PepMoV) is one of them. The study conducted by researchers at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India showed the role of seed in the carryover of the virus to the next generation.
The PepMoV is a flexuous rod-shaped plant pathogenic virus and it was first recognized in Arizona (USA) in 1969 as a new member of the family potyviridae that infects peppers. It was first reported in Capsicum annum from Palam beech County, Florida and in 1979. The virus has also been reported from other pepper growing countries of the world, such as Taiwan, India, Korea, China, Japan, Cuba.
So far, we knew that this virus is transmitted by insects by many species of Aphis namely gossypii, craccivora and Myzus persicae and by mechanical inoculation or grafting. But the recent experimental study showed the seed transmissibility of the PepMoV virus. This indicated the mechanism of seed transmissibility can significantly contribute towards the epidemiology of this emerging viral disease.
The common symptoms associated with the viral disease were mottling, green stripes on fruits and fruit deformation as well as dark green vein banding on infected chilli cultivars.
Seed-transmissible viruses tend to pose a huge threat for an epidemic as they can be a primary source of inoculum for further vector-mediated spread over a long range of distance. Therefore, it becomes urgent to understand the epidemiology of the virus with respect to seed transmission, as it is important for plant protection against initial infection and its further spread.
Chilli is one of the most valuable vegetable crops globally, India ranks first in production. Limited studies have been conducted on seed transmission of PepMoV. There still lies a significant gap with respect to our knowledge about the seed transmission of this virus.
Source: “Seed transmissibility of Pepper mottle virus: survival of virus”, CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 115, NO. 11, 10 DECEMBER 2018
Article by Kartikay Shukla
Edited by Moumita Mazumdar
He is a PhD scholar in Science and Technology Communication in National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (erstwhile CSIR-NISCAIR) one of the prestigious labs of CSIR in India. He is trained in popularizing science through writing, graphic designing and outreach programs. Currently, he is associated with an NGO name Search for Truth and Return to Science as a volunteer. He did his Master of Science in Science and Technology Communication from CSIR- National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), New Delhi and he completed his Bachelor of Science in Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics from Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar Uttarakhand.