Robinia mosaic virus
Institut für Phytopathologie Aschersleben der Deutschen Akademie der Landwirtschaftswissenschaften zu Berlin, Germany
Described by Atanasoff (1935) and
- Black locust true mosaic virus (Rev. appl. Mycol. 46: 1346)
- Echtes Robinienmosaik-Virus (Rev. appl. Mycol. 46: 1346)
A virus with isometric particles c. 40 nm in diameter with a wide host range. Transmissible
by inoculation of sap, by aphids in the non-persistent manner and also by some Cuscuta species.
The virus occurs commonly in south-eastern Europe and rarely in central Europe.
Causes mosaic and leaf deformation of Robinia pseudo-acacia
South-eastern and central Europe (Schmelzer, 1968
Host Range and Symptomatology
Species of Robinia,
especially R. pseudo-acacia,
seem to be the only natural hosts,
but about 75 plant species in 15 dicotyledonous families have been infected experimentally by sap
), including the following:
- Chenopodium quinoa. Chlorotic local lesions; systemic mosaic and leaf distortion. Some strains
always infect systemically, others only in winter.
- C. murale. Chlorotic dots and necrotic pin-point spots; not systemic.
- Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato). Systemic mosaic and leaf curling.
- Petunia hybrida. Necrotic local lesions
(Fig.5); most isolates not systemic.
- Phaseolus vulgaris (French bean). Chlorotic or necrotic local lesions. All tested isolates
infect at least some varieties systemically
(Fig.4), giving mosaic, necrosis, and deformation of tip leaves.
- Vigna sinensis (cowpea). Chlorotic or necrotic local lesions; systemic mosaic
- Nicotiana glutinosa
(Fig.6) is suitable both for maintaining cultures and as a source of virus
- N. megalosiphon is also good for maintaining the virus.
- Useful amounts of the virus may be obtained from infected N. tabacum except in summer.
- Chenopodium quinoa is a good local lesion host; C. foetidum has been used in aphid
Not well studied. Isolates differ in virulence and host range. For example, strain Ro 25, isolated
in Hungary (Schmelzer, 1967a
induces chlorotic local lesions as well as mosaic and leaf
deformation in Chenopodium quinoa
throughout the year, whereas less virulent isolates become
systemic in this species only during the winter.
Transmission by Vectors
The aphids Myzus persicae
and Aphis craccivora
transmit the virus in the
non-persistent manner. The transmission rate is rather low. The aphids acquire the virus within
10 min and there is no latent period. Aphis craccivora
seems to be the most important vector
in nature (Schmelzer & Milicic 1965
Transmission through Seed
Transmission by Dodder
Possible with Cuscuta californica, C. campestris
and C. subinclusa.
The virus infects
the dodder (Schmelzer, 1967a
The virus is moderately antigenic. Antisera with titres of 1/128 are readily obtained. The virus
reacts well with specific antiserum in agar gel double diffusion tests, which may be done with extracts
made by grinding infected Chenopodium quinoa
leaves with an equal amount of 0.067 M phosphate
buffer (pH 7) or 0.85% NaCl solution. Only one band of precipitate is formed
There seems to be no great serological difference between isolates that differ in their host plant
reactions or between isolates obtained from different countries. There is complete cross-protection
between different isolates of the virus.
Stability in Sap
Using Chenopodium quinoa
as virus source and test plant, the thermal inactivation
temperature lies between 66 and 72°C, the dilution end-point above 10-4
infectivity is retained at 20-22°C for 5-10 days.
Homogenize infected tissue with an equal amount of 0.067 M phosphate buffer (pH 7.0) containing
0.3% (w/v) sodium sulphite and 0.3% (w/v) ascorbic acid. Shake the resulting extract thoroughly with
twice its volume of ether and, after removing the ether and the coagulated plant material, with half
a volume of carbon tetrachloride. Centrifuge at low speed and retain the aqueous phase. Concentrate
the virus by one cycle of high and low speed centrifugation. Resuspend in neutral 0.067 M phosphate
Properties of Particles
Particles are isometric, c.
40 nm in diameter (Fig.2
Relations with Cells and Tissues
All tissues seem susceptible with the possible exception of the meristematic regions.
NotesCucumber mosaic virus
has properties similar to those of
robinia mosaic virus, but seems to have
smaller particles. Numerous plant species react in almost the same way to both viruses, but, unlike
cucumber mosaic virus, robinia mosaic virus usually infects Petunia hybrida
only locally and
Vigna sinensis, Arachis hypogaea
and most cultivars of Phaseolus vulgaris
French bean cultivars that are not infected systemically show large necrotic local lesions, in contrast
to the pinpoint lesions induced by cucumber mosaic virus.
Alfalfa mosaic virus
also has a host range similar to that of robinia mosaic virus, but common strains
infect Phaseolus vulgaris and Vigna sinensis only in inoculated leaves and all strains
induce necrotic local or severe necrotic systemic reactions in tomato, which robinia mosaic virus
never does. Also the bacilliform particles of alfalfa mosaic virus are unlike those of robinia mosaic
Besides robinia mosaic virus,
tomato black ring (both potato bouquet and beet ringspot serotypes) and
strawberry latent ringspot viruses
cause mosaic symptoms in Robinia
However, these viruses infect Chenopodium murale systemically, whereas robinia mosaic virus is
confined to the inoculated leaves, and neither is transmitted by aphids or by the species of dodder
that transmit robinia mosaic virus.
- Atanasoff, Phytopath. Z. 8: 197, 1935.
- Schmelzer, Phytopath. Z. 58: 59, 1967a.
- Schmelzer, A XVII. Növényvédelmi tudományos Értekezlet 1: 139, 1967b.
- Schmelzer, Arch. Forstw. 17: 621, 1968.
- Schmelzer & Milicic, Acta bot. croat. 24: 189, 1965.
Naturally infected leaflets of Robinia pseudo-acacia.
Virus particles from a purified preparation, shadowed with platinum and iridium. Bar
represents 250 nm.
Systemically infected leaf of Vigna sinensis.
Systemic infection in Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Pinto.
Local lesions in Petunia hybrida.
Systemic infection of Nicotiana glutinosa with strain Ro 25.