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What is a vector ?

Written by Administrateur Modified on the

It is the protection coat of the virus or capsid which is highly adapted to this mode of transmission. Each type of virus is very specifically associated to a vector. The most active vectors for phytoviruses are the representatives of the homopters (for example, the greenfly).

Viruses transmitted by insects can be classified in two broad categories :

  • The non-circulating viruses which are brought by mouth pieces during transmission. They consist in non persistent and semi persistent viruses.
  • Circulating viruses which accomplish a complete cycle in the vector before settling in the salivary glands and being introduced in a new plant by the salivary channel. They are of the persistent type.


Modes of transmission of viruses by a vector are defined according to :

  • The time necessary for the insect to acquire the virus from an infected plant;
  • The inoculation period which corresponds to the necessary time to transmit the virus to a sound plant;
  • The latent period which defines the period between the moment the vector has acquired the virus and the moment it can transmit it to another plant ;.
  • The retention period which corresponds to the time during which a vector having acquired a virus is still able to pass it on to another plant.


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