Transmission of Switchgrass mosaic virus by Graminella aureovittata

B. O. Agindotan, J. R. Prasifka, M. E. Gray, C. H. Dietrich, C. A. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Switchgrass mosaic virus (SwMV) was identified in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and was proposed as a new marafivirus based on its genome sequence and comparison with its closest relative, Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), a type member of the genus Marafivirus. MRFV only infects maize (Zea mays) and its wild relatives, and is naturally transmitted by a corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis. Proving that SwMV is transmitted by a different species of leafhopper than D. maidis would provide additional evidence that SwMV is a new species of the genus Marafivirus. In 2010, three leafhopper species were identified in switchgrass fields near Champaign, Illinois - Graminella aureovittata, Graminella mohri and Flexamia atlantica. Switchgrass mosaic virus was detected by two independent RT-PCR assays in 100% of G. mohri and F. atlantica, and 95% of G. aureovittata. Twenty specimens of each species were evaluated. Of the three leafhoppers, only G. aureovittata transmitted the virus to 'Cave in Rock' switchgrass plants in a growth chamber. Transmission efficiency was 80% and only one of the eight SwMV-infected plants displayed mosaic/yellow streak symptoms. Switchgrass mosaic virus was detected in 78% and 83% of the switchgrass plants in the two fields from which the leafhoppers were collected. The detection of a leafhopper vector of SwMV will facilitate the transmission of the virus and the study of its impact on switchgrass biomass yield.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI).


  • Biomass crops
  • Graminella spp.
  • Insect transmission
  • Marafivirus
  • Panicum virgatum
  • Virus transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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