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Aphid salivary protein found to promote virus infection in plants


by Liu Jia, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The risk for pandemic diseases caused by arboviruses is rising as the dispersal rate of their arthropod vectors increases. During probing and feeding of arthropod vectors, vector-borne viruses are delivered into vertebrate/plant hosts together with the vector's saliva by stylet injection.

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research group led by Prof. Sun Yucheng of the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences made progress in understanding the role of vector salivary effectors in complicated virus-plant-insect vector interactions.

Aphids are by far the most important vectors of plant viruses and could transmit more than 300 viruses. They evolved specialized wing dimorphism with wingless and winged morphs under different environments. With regard to virus transmission, winged aphids are more competent vectors due to their high frequency of migration and probing.

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