Grapevine vein clearing virus (GVCV) is associated with a vein-clearing and vine-decline disease. In this study, we surveyed wild Ampelopsis cordata from the Vitaceae family and found that 31% (35 of 113) of native A. cordata plants are infected with GVCV. The full-length genome sequence of one GVCV isolate from A. cordata shared 99.8% identical nucleotides with an isolate from a nearby cultivated ‘Chardonel’ grapevine, suggesting the occurrence of an insect vector. To identify a vector, we collected Aphis illinoisensis (common name: grape aphids) from wild A. cordata plants and detected GVCV in the aphid populations. We found that A. illinoisensis is capable of transmitting GVCV from infected A. cordata to Chardonel grapevines in the greenhouse. Upon transmission, GVCV caused severe symptoms on the infected Chardonel 45 days post transmission. We conclude that wild GVCV isolates from A. cordata are capable of inducing a severe disease on cultivated grapevines once they spread from native A. cordata to vineyards via grape aphids. The discovery of a natural reservoir and an insect vector of GVCV provides timely knowledge for disease management in vineyards and critical clues on viral evolution and epidemiology.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

Document Type




Rights Information

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting to the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2018.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Plant Disease