Global seed trade contributed to development and improvement of world agriculture. An adverse effect of global seed trade is reflected in disease outbreaks in new growing areas, countries, and continents. Among the seed-borne viruses, Tobamovirus species are currently considered a peril for crop production around the world. The unique tobamoviral particles confer stability to the RNA genome and preserve their infectivity for years. High titer of Tobamovirus species accumulates in reproductive organs leading to viral particles adsorbed to seed coat, which potentially establish a primary infectious source. Tobamovirus-contaminated seeds show very low virus transmission in grow-out experiments as detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. Interestingly, in situ immunofluorescence analysis of Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) reveals that the perisperm-endosperm envelope (PEE) is contaminated as well by the Tobamovirus. Indeed, chemical seed disinfection treatments that affect primarily the seed coat surface are efficient for several Tobamovirus species but apparently do not prevent seed transmission of CGMMV to occur. Tobamovirus infection of the seed internal layers, which rarely includes the embryo, may partially follow the direct invasion pathway of Potyviruses such as Pea seed-borne mosaic virus (PSbMV) to pea embryo.
Part of the book: Seed Biology