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plant viruses

Micky Krol mkrol at macc.wisc.edu
Mon Jan 16 21:40:32 EST 1995

In article <onenight-1501951844550001 at port52.rain.org>, onenight at rain.org

> Please excuse a layman's question, but is there an incedence in virology
> where a plant virus can be transmitted to an animal?
> I appreciate your patience and any reply would be appreciated.
> one night in the rain
> onenight at rain.com

I am aware of at least one group of plant viruses, those plant infecting
members of the Bunyavirus family (includes tomato spotted wilt virus, and
several other costly, $ wise, viruses) which can infect both plant hosts as
well as the insect vector (which kindly moves the virus from plant to
plant, bugs called thrips).  
There are some others, which i don't remember offhand, which are suspected
of this as well, but only the Bunyaviruses have been shown to do this for
real (to the best of this grad student's knowledge).  It seems that these
viruses even make the thrips sick, and the thrips transmitt the virus to
their own children.

However, i think that you're really wondering if you (or humans in general)
will ever come down with a nasty case of Tobacco Mosaic Virus, or the like,
and the answer is Probably (darn near Assuredly, but i am a scientist after
all, and anything is possible) Not.  There are good reasons for this, and
if you really want to know the nitty gritty , just drop me an email-I'll
rant on for as long as you can stand.

PS- I am a grad student who studies plant viruses which we have been able,
with great difficulty, been able to get to replicate in yeast, (which is
not a plant) so this type of question is really up my alley.  
Hope i answered your question adequately!!

Yup, these opinions are only my own, and sometimes not even that.  So
please don't blame them on anyone else, not even my Mom.  
PGP public key available upon request.

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