Biology of virus transmission

Biology of virus transmission

Virus manipulation of plants and vectors


Many plant viruses survive in the environment thanks to the presence of mobile vectors that spread them from plant to plant. For several years now, it has been recognized that some of the modifications induced by viruses in plants are conducive with vector attraction and promote virus transmission. This phenomenon is known as "Viral Manipulation". These virus-induced alterations can affect the color, odor emission and metabolic composition of infected plants, all of which have an effect on vector behavior and thus on virus acquisition. Even more intriguingly, it has been shown that virus acquisition by the vector can directly influence its behavior (feeding or vector preference) which, once again, can be favorable to virus transmission. While more and more observations on different pathosystems support the hypotheses of viral manipulation, the mechanisms remain largely unknown. In the laboratory, we are attempting to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying viral manipulation in different pathosystems, consisting of a host plant and an aphid-transmitted virus.

Approaches and resources

The host plants studied were Arabidopsis thaliana, Camelina sativa and Pisum sativum. The viruses are cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV), turnip yellows virus (TuYV) and pea enation mosaic virus (PEMV). These viruses are transmitted by various aphid vectors, alter the phenotype of their host plants, and could therefore benefit from viral manipulation mechanisms. Various approaches are being developed to research and characterize the molecular determinants responsible for manipulation, such as RNA-seq, metabolic analyses and the study of aphid behavior towards infected plants.

Staff (ViVe team)


  • ANR VIRAPHIPLANT [2014-2018]
  • ANR ROME [2019-2023]
  • ANR GreenPeas (abstract) [2024-2028]


Puceron EPG
Analyse métabo manip virale
symptôme PEMV







  • Aphid tethered with gold wire to study its feeding behavior via the EPG technique
  • Metabolomic analysis (by UHPLC-MS) of plants to study the influence of sap composition on the behavioral responses of vectors
  • Pea leaves showing PEMV symptoms


  • Verdier M., Chesnais Q., Pirolles E., Blanc S., Drucker M. (2023). The cauliflower mosaic virus transmission helper protein P2 modifies directly the probing behavior of the aphid vector Myzus persicae to facilitate transmission. PLoS Pathogens 19(2): e1011161.
  • Krieger, C., Halter, D., Baltenweck, R., Cognat, V., Boissinot, S., Maia-Grondard, A., Erdinger, M., Bogaert, F., Pichon, E., Hugueney, P., Brault, V., & Ziegler-Graff, V. (2023). An aphid-transmitted virus reduces the host plant response to its vector to promote its transmission. Phytopathology®, 113(9), 1745–1760.
  • Chesnais Q., Golyaev V., Velt A., Rustenholz C., Verdier M., Brault V., Pooggin M., Drucker D. (2022). Transcriptome responses of the aphid vector Myzus persicae are shaped by identities of the host plant and the virus. Peer Community Journal 2, e82.
  • Marmonier, A., Velt, A., Villeroy, C., Rustenholz, C., Chesnais, Q., & Brault, V. (2022). Differential gene expression in aphids following virus acquisition from plants or from an artificial medium. BMC Genomics, 23(1), 333.
  • Chesnais Q., Golyaev V., Velt A., Rustenholz C., Brault V., Pooggin M., Drucker M. (2022). Comparative plant transcriptome profiling of Arabidopsis and Camelina infested with Myzus persicae aphids acquiring circulative and non-circulative viruses reveals virus- and plant-specific alterations relevant to aphid feeding behavior and transmission. Microbiology Spectrum 10(4): e00136-22

Modification date: 07 May 2024 | Publication date: 24 January 2024 | By: INRAE Grand Est-Colmar