Grapevine Vein Clearing Virus Is Prevalent and Genetically Variable in Grape Aphid (Aphis Illinoisensis Shimer) Populations


Grapevine vein clearing virus (GVCV) causes severe stunting and death of cultivated grapevines and is prevalent in native Vitis spp. and Ampelopsis cordata in the Midwest region of the United States. GVCV can be transmitted from wild A. cordata to Vitis spp. by grape aphid (Aphis illinoisensis) under greenhouse conditions, but its prevalence, genetic composition, and genome number in native grape aphids are unknown. In this study, we collected grape aphids from native Vitaceae across the state of Missouri in 2018 and 2019, and conducted diagnostic, genetic, and quantitative analyses. GVCV was detected in 91 of the 105 randomly sampled communities on 71 Vitaceae plants (87%). It was present in 211 of 525 single grape aphids (40%). Diverse GVCV variants from aphids were present on both GVCV-negative and GVCV-positive plants. Identical GVCV variants were found in grape aphids sampled from wild and cultivated Vitaceae, indicating that viruliferous aphids likely migrate and disperse GVCV variants among wild and cultivated Vitaceae. In addition, we found that the number of GVCV genomes varies largely in the stylet and body of individual aphids. Our study provides a snapshot of GVCV epidemics and genetic structure in its mobile vector and sessile hosts. This presents a good model for studying the epidemiology, ecology, and evolution of a plant virus.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

Document Type





Aphid, Disease development, Disease spread, Diversity, Epidemiology, Fruit, Grapevine, GVCV, Pathogen diversity, Prevalence, Small fruits, Viroids, Viruses

Publication Date


Journal Title

Plant Disease