Transmission of the bean-associated cytorhabdovirus by the whitefly bemisia tabaci MEAM1

Bruna Pinheiro-Lima, Rita C. Pereira-Carvalho, Dione M.T. Alves-Freitas, Elliot W. Kitajima, Andreza H. Vidal, Cristiano Lacorte, Marcio T. Godinho, Rafaela S. Fontenele, Josias C. Faria, Emanuel F.M. Abreu, Arvind Varsani, Simone G. Ribeiro, Fernando L. Melo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The knowledge of genomic data of new plant viruses is increasing exponentially; however, some aspects of their biology, such as vectors and host range, remain mostly unknown. This information is crucial for the understanding of virus–plant interactions, control strategies, and mechanisms to prevent outbreaks. Typically, rhabdoviruses infect monocot and dicot plants and are vectored in nature by hemipteran sap-sucking insects, including aphids, leafhoppers, and planthoppers. However, several strains of a potentially whitefly-transmitted virus, papaya cytorhabdovirus, were recently described: (i) bean-associated cytorhabdovirus (BaCV) in Brazil, (ii) papaya virus E (PpVE) in Ecuador, and (iii) citrus-associated rhabdovirus (CiaRV) in China. Here, we examine the potential of the Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) to transmit BaCV, its morphological and cytopathological characteristics, and assess the incidence of BaCV across bean producing areas in Brazil. Our results show that BaCV is efficiently transmitted, in experimental conditions, by B. tabaci MEAM1 to bean cultivars, and with lower efficiency to cowpea and soybean. Moreover, we detected BaCV RNA in viruliferous whiteflies but we were unable to visualize viral particles or viroplasm in the whitefly tissues. BaCV could not be singly isolated for pathogenicity tests, identification of the induced symptoms, and the transmission assay. BaCV was detected in five out of the seven states in Brazil included in our study, suggesting that it is widely distributed throughout bean producing areas in the country. This is the first report of a whitefly-transmitted rhabdovirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1028
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Bemisia tabaci
  • Common bean
  • Cytorhabdovirus
  • Phaseolus vulgaris
  • Vector
  • Virus evolution
  • Virus transmission
  • Whitefly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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