In minor veins of leaves of Beta vulgaris L. (sugar beet) yellows virus particles were found both in parenchyma cells and in mature sieve elements. In parenchyma cells the particles were usually confined to the cytoplasm, that is, they were absent from the vacuoles. In the sieve elements, which at maturity have no vacuoles, the particles were scattered throughout the cell. In dense aggregations the particles tended to assume an orderly arrangement in both parenchyma cells and sieve elements. Most of the sieve elements containing virus particles had mitochondria, plastids, endoplasmic reticulum, and plasma membrane normal for mature sieve elements. Some sieve elements, however, showed evidence of degeneration. Virus particles were present also in the pores of the sieve plates, the plasmodesmata connecting the sieve elements with parenchyma cells, and the plasmodesmata between parenchyma cells. The distribution of the virus particles in the phloem of Beta is compatible with the concept that plant viruses move through the phloem in the sieve tubes and that this movement is a passive transport by mass flow. The observations also indicate that the beet yellows virus moves from cell to cell and in the sieve tube in the form of complete particles, and that this movement may occur through sieve-plate pores in the sieve tube and through plasmodesmata elsewhere.

This content is only available as a PDF.