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Interfering with non-persistent virus transmission through the disruption of virus binding to the aphid mouthparts

Currently aphids are solely being controlled with environmentally unfriendly broad spectrum products, while not all aphids are equally dangerous. In this project, more knowledge will be gained about the non-persistent virus transmission by aphids in order to develop strategies to intervene in these virus transmission.


Transmission of plant viruses through aphids is based on a specific interaction between the mouthparts of an aphid and the virus. The aim of this project is to investigate which factor(s) in the mouth parts of the aphid are responsible for that binding and which mechanisms and kinetics lay at the basis of this interaction.

A literature study will identify pre-existing knowledge on virusbinding mechanisms and factors for different virus/vector systems and different aphis species. In experiments the kinetics and mechanisms of binding of Potato virus Y to the mouthparts of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) and the bird cherry oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) will be further characterized. Extracts of the mouthparts of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), a very efficient virus transmitter, will be used to identify which components bind to Potato virus Y.

Understanding these mechanisms may lead to new ways and strategies to prevent non-persistent virus transmission and to better identify the risks involved in virus transmission by various aphid species.