Ribgrass mosaic virus
Institute for Plant Virus Research, Chiba, Chiba-Ken, Japan
B. D. Harrison
Scottish Horticultural Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, Scotland
- Holmes ribgrass virus
- Marmor tabaci var. plantaginis (Rev. appl. Mycol. 21: 227)
- Plantago mosaic virus (Rev. appl. Mycol. 21: 227)
- Plantago virus (Rev. appl. Mycol. 38: 338)
- Ribgrass strain of tobacco mosaic virus (Rev. appl. Mycol. 21: 227)
An RNA-containing virus with rod-shaped particles, 18 nm wide and 300 nm long. It is
found in several wild plant species, occurs in high concentration in sap, is very stable
and is readily transmitted by inoculation of sap. No vector known.
Causes systemic chlorotic mottling and ring-like markings, chlorotic streaks along the
veins and slight twisting of the petioles in ribgrass (Plantago lanceolata
and broad-leaved plantain (P. major
), mosaic in Digitalis lanata,
in Melandrium album
mottle in various cruciferous species,
necrotic mosaic in tobacco
(Valleau & Johnson, 1943
and internal browning of the
fruits of tomato
Widely distributed. Reported in Asia, Europe, N. America and USSR.
Host Range and Symptomatology
Hosts infected by inoculation of sap include about 50 species in about 10 plant
families, especially in the Solanaceae, Plantaginaceae, Cruciferae and Scrophulariaceae
Symptoms are mostly mosaics and mottles, but several cruciferous
species may be infected symptomlessly
(Oshima et al., 1974
- Chenopodium amaranticolor. Small necrotic local lesions. Uninoculated tip leaves
may develop distortion with necrotic spots.
- Cyphomandra betacea. Chlorotic local lesions. Systemic distorting mosaic.
- Nicotiana glutinosa, N. sylvestris and N. tabacum cv. Xanthi-nc. Small
brown necrotic local lesions. No systemic infection.
- Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco). Turkish tobacco develops local lesions as thin,
white rings of necrotic tissue in inoculated leaves. Systemic symptoms consist of rings
and lines of necrotic tissue along the veins. Both local and systemic symptoms are
White Burley tobacco develops chlorotic local lesions but is
seldom infected systemically.
- Phaseolus vulgaris (bean). Not infected.
- N. tabacum cv. Samsun.
- N. tabacum cv. Xanthi-nc and N. glutinosa.
Many minor variants have been isolated from various species:
Obtained from Plantago lanceolata in New
Obtained from Digitalis lanata in
(Chessin et al., 1967).
Obtained from Melandrium
album (Lychnis alba) in Montana, USA.
Obtained from Cordaria draba,
Sisymbrium loeselii and Anchusa officinalis in Czechoslovakia.
Obtained from Primula obconica in
(Juretic, Milicic & Mamula, 1973).
Obtained from Rorippa amphibia
(Goto & Oshima, 1962).
Obtained from Radicula sylvestris in
(Tochihara et al., 1964).
Obtained from Eutrena wasabi
in central Japan. In polyacrylamide gels containing urea, the protein of this strain
migrates faster during electrophoresis than do those of TMV-C, ribgrass mosaic type strain,
and lychnis isolates
(Oshima et al., 1971).
Youcai mosaic isolate (YMV15)
Apparently similar to
ribgrass mosaic type strain. Obtained from Brassica campestris in China.
Transmission by Vectors
Transmission through Seed
Transmission by Dodder
Antisera with titres in tube precipitin tests of 1/1000 are readily obtained. Double
diffusion tests can be made in agar gel (e.g.
Juretic et al., 1969
Ribgrass mosaic virus strains are more closely related serologically
than to other
(van Regenmortel, 1967
Tobacco plants infected with the type strain of
TMV do not develop additional symptoms after inoculation with the ribgrass strain
Among the minor variants listed under Strains, the necrotic and Primula
isolates are serologically similar, but distinguishable from the Digitalis and
RMV-K isolates, which themselves are probably serologically similar; all differ slightly
from the type isolate of the ribgrass strain
(Juretic & Wetter, 1973;
Stability in Sap
In infected Turkish tobacco sap, the thermal inactivation point (10 min) is 93°C,
the dilution end-point 10-6
. The virus is infective after more
than 5 months in sap, and more than 122 days in dried tobacco leaves
The virus is purified from extracts of systemically infected leaves of Samsun tobacco
by freezing, followed by thawing and differential centrifugation. Several methods used for
the type strain of
can also be used. Purified virus lacks the brown colour typical of
type strain TMV, which is caused by plant material binding to the particles
(Siegel & Wildman, 1954
Properties of Particles
Molecular weight: About 40 x 106
Isoelectric point: pH 4.49
Electrophoretic mobility: -7.7 x 10-5 cm2/sec/volt at pH 7.1 in
0.05 M phosphate buffer
(Knight & Lauffer, 1942).
Absorbance at 260 nm (1 mg/ml, 1 cm light path): Probably the same as type strain
Inactivation by ultraviolet irradiation: More sensitive than type strain TMV, slightly
less sensitive than strain
(Siegel & Wildman, 1954).
The particles are straight rods, 18 nm wide and 300 nm long with ends not rounded
The rods are helically constructed with a pitch of about 2.3 nm
RNA is embedded in the helical array of identical coat protein subunits. Particles have
a central channel.
Particle CompositionNucleic acid:
Single-stranded RNA, 5% of particle weight, M. Wt about 2 x
. Molar percentage of nucleotides:
G25.8; A29.3; C18.0; U27.0
Protein: 95% of particle weight, composed of about 2000 chemical subunits
per particle, each of M. Wt about 17,500.
The coat protein consists of 156 amino acids whose sequence is as follows
(Wittmann et al., 1969):
The protein is noteworthy for containing histidine and methionine.
Relations with Cells and Tissues
Several isolates induce characteristic crystalline inclusions in infected cells, the
so-called rounded plates. These are discs of various sizes,
each consisting of one or
more layers containing virus particles orientated perpendicularly to the surface of the
Milicic et al., 1968
The RMV-K isolate induces
X-bodies, but not rounded plates
Ribgrass mosaic virus can be distinguished from other viruses infecting Plantago
by its particle shape and high thermal inactivation point. It is distinguished from
serologically, by the symptoms produced in diagnostic hosts, and by
its consistent ability to infect systemically both Plantago lanceolata
- Chessin, Zaitlin & Solberg, Phytopathology 57: 452, 1967.
- Goldin, C. r. Acad. Sci. U.R.S.S., N.S. 88: 933, 1953.
- Goto & Oshima, Ann. phytopath. Soc. Japan 27: 109, 1962.
- Hollings, Acta Hort. 36: 23, 1974.
- Holmes, Phytopathology 31: 1089, 1941.
- Holmes, Phytopathology 40: 487, 1950.
- Juretic, Phytopath. Z. 79: 16, 1974.
- Juretic, Milicic & Mamula, Acta bot. croat. 32: 29, 1973.
- Juretic & Wetter, Proc. 7th Conf. Czechoslov. Pl. Virol, High Tatras, 1971: 369, 1973.
- Juretic, Wrischer & Polák, Biológia Pl. 11: 284, 1969.
- Knight, J. biol. Chem. 197: 241, 1952.
- Knight & Lauffer, J. biol. Chem. 144: 411, 1942.
- Kovachevsky, Phytopath. Z. 49: 127, 1963.
- Kovachevsky, Proc. 6th Conf. Czechoslov. Pl. Viral., Olomouc, 1967: 250, 1969.
- Milicic, Stefanac, Juretic & Wrischer, Virology 35: 356, 1968.
- Oshima, Ohashi & Umekawa, Ann. phytopath. Soc. Japan 37: 319, 1971.
- Oshima, Ohashi & Umekawa, Ann. phytopath. Soc. Japan 40: 243, 1974.
- Oster, J. biol. Chem. 190: 55, 1951.
- Pei, Acta microbiol. sin. 8: 420, 1962.
- Polák, Proc. 5th Conf. Czechoslov. Pl. Viral., Prague, 1962: 168, 1962.
- Schumann, Phytopath. Z. 48: 1, 1963.
- Siegel & Wildman, Phytopathology 44: 277, 1954.
- Tochihara, Komuro & Kobari, Proc. Kanto Pl. Prot. Soc. 11: 46, 1964.
- Valleau & Johnson, Phytopathology 33: 210, 1943.
- van Regenmortel, Virology 31: 467, 1967.
- Wittmann, Hindennach & Wittmann-Liebold, Z. Naturforsch. B24: 877, 1969.
Leaves of Plantago lanceolata systemically infected with ribgrass mosaic
Tobacco plant cv. Samsun systemically infected with the TMV-C isolate.
Leaf of Nicotiana tabacum cv. Samsun systemically infected with ribgrass
mosaic type strain, showing fine necrotic line patterns.
Virus particles of ribgrass mosaic type strain in Samsun tobacco sap, stained
with phosphotungstate. Bar represents 300 nm.
Particles of a ribgrass mosaic isolate from Scotland, stained with uranyl
formate. Bar represents 100 nm. (Courtesy of I. M. Roberts.)
Rounded plates (P) in hair cells of Nicotiana tabacum in face view
(left) and in side view (right). (Courtesy of D. Milicic.)
Polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic patterns of the virus particle protein
of the following isolates: wasabi (W), TMV-C (C), type ribgrass mosaic (HR), lychnis
(Ly), and an ordinary strain of TMV (OM). (Courtesy of Y. Ohashi.)