Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Geography of Yellow dwarf viruses and aphid vectors in Australia

I have to admit, it has been a long time since I have had a first-author paper published - I've had several on the boil for quite a while and I'm hoping this year I can pump out a few.  So, I'm really pleased to hear my paper has just been published: The geographical distribution of Yellow dwarf viruses and their aphid vectors in Australian grasslands and wheat, which I wrote with CSIRO co-authors Sarina Macfadyen and Darren Kriticos for the Springer journal Australasian Plant Pathology

It is quite a challenge to review one's own work, so probably I should leave that to others.  However, in summary I have taken on quite a lot with this paper, because I felt there was a real need to bring the knowledge about Yellow dwarf viruses and their aphid vectors across the country together in one place - trawling through the literature was quite a task!  Hopefully this will save many people the effort and provide a useful snapshot of the state of knowledge in Australia today.  I also give my thoughts on the potential impacts of Climate change and other future threats.  For example, under climate change transmission efficiency of aphids may alter, and some aphid species may undergo range shifts (e.g. R. maidis may shift south from Queensland).  I have tried to summarize these geographical implications of climate change that will impact on aphid/YDV populations in a map (below), although the text in the paper gives a much fuller description of the implications and really this diagram should be seen in relation to that.  I also discuss the potential for the interaction of YDVs with emerging viruses, such as Wheat streak mosaic virus.