Molecular Plant Pathology – Pathogen Profiles

Black currant reversion virus, a mite-transmitted nepovirus

Petri Susi

Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6 A, 20520 Turku, Finland

Taxonomy:Black currant reversion virus (BRV) is the first identified mite-transmitted member of the genus Nepovirus (family Comoviridae). A few systematic studies have been performed to compare virus isolates from different geographical locations.

Physical properties:Purified preparations contain two closely sedimenting centrifugal components (B and M for RNA1 and RNA2, respectively) at varying ratios, and occasionally a T component (for satellite RNA). The BRV capsids have a diameter of 27 nm and they are putatively composed of 60 copies of a single species of capsid (coat) protein assembled in an icosahedral lattice. Diluted plant sap loses its infectivity within 1 day at 20 °C and in 4-8 days at 4 °C.

Hosts:The natural host range of BRV is limited; it infects black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) and some related Ribes species. The transmission of the virus is by the eriophyid gall mite of black currant (Cecidophyopsis ribis). A number of herbaceous plants can be infected experimentally. BRV is the agent of black currant reversion disease (BRD), which is economically the most significant virus disease in Ribes species. BRV and BRD occur widely in locations where black currant is cultivated commercially.

Symptoms caused by BRV. (A) Alteration of leaf morphology in black currant (Ribes nigrum L.). A BRV-infected leaf (on the left) has deeper slopes and decreased number of marginal serrations and main veins than a healthy leaf (on the right). (B) Mosaic symptoms and (C) full necrosis in BRV-infected N. benthamiana.