The Orchestrated Role of Three Multifunctional Lutevirus Proteins in Virus Movement Within Plant Hosts and Aphid Vectors
The control of vector borne disease is recognized as one of the major agricultural, animal and human health challenges of today. Viruses in the family Luteoviridae are responsible for economically important disease in all stable food crops and many vegetable crops. These aphid- transmitted viruses also serve as an important model system to study circulative virus transmission mechanisms and control in other plant and animal, including human, vector-borne viruses. Our past and ongoing work has shown that three luteovirid proteins orchestrate virus movement in both plants and aphids through a series of interactions with host and vector proteins, yet these interaction networks remain largely uncharted. Proposed experiments focus on identifying and validating the specific nature of virus-aphid and virus-plant protein interactions and how these interactions regulate various steps in the circulative transmission process including systemic movement in host plants, acquisition during aphid feeding, tissue transport and virus survival in the aphid, and inoculation back into a host plant. Our experimental system offers innovative opportunities to study the transmission of circulative plant viruses that have been recalcitrant to the development of host resistance and for which the economic and environmental costs of vector control has been prohibitive and unsustainable. The long term goal is to apply the fundamental knowledge of insect-vector-plant interactions to the development of novel, sustainable practices for vector and virus control that can be transferred to growers so they can make informed practical decisions on crop and disease management.