Virions of lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV; genus Crinivirus) were purified from LIYV-infected plants and their protein composition was analysed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. Virion preparations contained the major capsid protein (CP), but the minor capsid protein (CPm), p59 and the HSP70 homologue were also identified by immunoblot analysis. Immunogold labelling analysis showed that CP constituted the majority of the LIYV virion capsid, but CPm was also part of the capsid and localized to one end of the virion, similar to the polar morphology seen for viruses in the genus Closterovirus. p59 and the HSP70 homologue were not detected on virions by immunogold labelling, but were always detected in virion preparations by immunoblot analysis. Purified LIYV virions were used for in vitro acquisition analysis with Bemisia tabaci whiteflies and were efficiently transmitted to plants. Infectivity neutralization analyses were done using antisera to the LIYV-encoded CP, CPm, p59 and HSP70 homologue. Only antiserum to the CPm effectively neutralized LIYV transmission by B. tabaci. These data suggest that the LIYV-B. tabaci transmission determinants are associated with purified virions, and that the LIYV virion structural protein CPm is involved in transmission by B. tobaci.


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