Ecology and Epidemiology of Seed-Transmitted Viruses

  • K. Subramanya Sastry


This chapter describes how knowledge of epidemiology helps in understanding the seed-transmitted virus disease spread and in framing suitable management measures.

Seed infection is epidemiologically important as this is the primary source of inoculum and forms the starting point for the initiation of the disease. The epidemics of the virus diseases in a particular region are the result of complex interactions between various physical, chemical and biological factors, and major epidemics occur when conditions influencing the virus, host and its vector synchronise. The virus disease epidemics depend on the interaction of four components, namely, the pathogen, the vector, the plant and the environment. Among the seed-transmitted viruses, some have limited host range and some others have wide host range. Either annual or perennial or both are affected with virus diseases. Under field conditions, the weed and wild hosts are important as they are the reservoirs for the virus, vector or both. Survival of the virus in the seed for a long period also plays an integral role in virus perpetuation in off seasons. Seed-transmitted viruses are also vector specific, and aphid or beetle or nematodes or fungi play major role in causing epidemics based on the time of emergence, light, humidity, temperature and wind velocity, and abundance of vector population is a significant factor that determines spread of virus diseases both in time and space. Vectors also may have limited host plants or may be polyphagous. The time and number of vectors visiting the crop varies considerably with species over years. Pollen and seed transmission are closely related factors in virus epidemiology. A number of virus diseases spread horizontally through pollen in a number of fruit and vegetable crops. The epidemiology of virus diseases also depends on different pathogen strains which vary in virulence, host range and transmissibility. If the forecasting system is developed against a particular virus disease, it will help to operate an early warning system or to select growing season or areas for crop growing. Examples of how epidemiological information can be used to develop effective integrated disease management strategies for diverse situations are described.


Sweet Cherry Sour Cherry Tobacco Rattle Virus Infected Seed Seed Transmission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Subramanya Sastry
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of VirologyS.V. UniversityTirupathiIndia

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