A reassessment of the epidemiology of Rice yellow mottle virus following recent advances in field and molecular studies. uri icon

abstract

  • The available knowledge on the epidemiology of Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) is reassessed in the light of major advances in field and molecular studies of the disease it causes in rice. Previously un-described means of transmission by mammals and through leaf contact have been discovered recently. Several agricultural practices, including the use of seedbed nurseries, have also contributed to a massive build-up of RYMV inoculum. Phytosanitation is now known to be critical to reduce disease incidence in rice. A new model of the ecology of RYMV in which man plays a central role has emerged. Furthermore, estimates of the evolutionary rate of change of RYMV provided a time-frame for its epidemiology, the first attempt for a plant virus. Earlier interpretations of the patterns of virus diversity which assumed a long-term evolution, and assigned a major role to adaptive events had to be discarded. In contrast, a wave-like model of dispersal of RYMV, which postulates its initial diversification in East Africa, followed by westward spread across the continent, was developed, refined and dated. The most salient - and largely unexpected - finding is that RYMV emerged recently and subsequently spread rapidly throughout Africa in the last two centuries. Diversification and spread of RYMV has been concomitant with an extension of rice cultivation in Africa since the 19th century. This major agro-ecological change increased the encounters between primary hosts of RYMV and cultivated rice. It also modified the landscape ecology in ways that facilitated virus spread.
  • The available knowledge on the epidemiology of Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) is reassessed in the light of major advances in field and molecular studies of the disease it causes in rice. Previously undescribed means of transmission by mammals and through leaf contact have been discovered recently. Several agricultural practices, including the use of seedbed nurseries, have also contributed to a massive build-up of RYMV inoculum. Phytosanitation is now known to be critical to reduce disease incidence in rice. A new model of the ecology of RYMV in which man plays a central role has emerged. Furthermore, estimates of the evolutionary rate of change of RYMV provided a time-frame for its epidemiology, the first attempt for a plant virus. Earlier interpretations of the patterns of virus diversity which assumed a long-term evolution, and assigned a major role to adaptive events had to be discarded. In contrast, a wave-like model of dispersal of RYMV, which postulates its initial diversification in East Africa, followed by westward spread across the continent, was developed, refined and dated. The most salient - and largely unexpected - finding is that RYMV emerged recently and subsequently spread rapidly throughout Africa in the last two centuries, Diversification and Spread of RYMV has been concomitant with an extension of rice cultivation in Africa since the 19th century. This major agro-ecological change increased the encounters between primary hosts of RYMV and Cultivated rice. It also modified the landscape ecology in ways that facilitated virus spread. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2009