The grapevine-infecting vitiviruses, with particular reference to grapevine virus A
A number of vitiviruses infect grapevine, arguably the most important fruit crop, and the host from which they derive their genus name. In contrast to most grapevine viruses, the etiological role of these viruses is unclear, albeit that they are associated with several well-known - and a number of emerging - diseases of grapevine. Here, we review the genus Vitivirus, with special reference to its most omnipresent member, grapevine virus A. We discuss the latest taxonomic status of the genus, as well as the genome and genomic organisation, replication mechanism, and genetic variability of GVA, and we also present the latest research progress with vitivirus-based vectors; the identification of a new vitivirus, GVE, the discovery of VIGG, a unique GVA-induced host protein, the molecular characterisation of hitherto unknown or puzzling genetic elements in the GVA genome, and the latest developments in vitivirus diagnostics. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.