Luteoviruses, that is, members of the Luteoviridae family, are plant viruses that can infect a wide range of host plants, including many important crops such as cereals, cucurbits, legumes, potato, sugarbeet and sugar cane. Their icosahedral virions contain a single (+) ribonucleic acid genome in a capsid composed of two structural proteins. They are limited to phloem cells in host plants and are only transmitted by aphids in a circulative and nonpropagative mode with high specificity.
Growing data are accumulating on plant–luteovirus relationships and more particularly on the mechanism developed by the virus to overcome plant defence. The tight interaction between luteoviruses and their aphid vector has also been extensively studied. Information from these studies together with a better understanding of the epidemiology of luteoviruses will help to combat their detrimental effects on crops.