The genus is unique within the family in that it is made up of viruses that infect plants. Initially documented over 100 years ago, tospoviruses have become increasingly important worldwide since the 1980s due to the spread of the important insect vector and the discovery of new viruses. As a result, tospoviruses are now recognized globally as emerging agricultural diseases. Tospoviruses and their vectors, thrips species in the order , represent a major problem for agricultural and ornamental crops that must be managed to avoid devastating losses. In recent years, the number of recognized species in the genus has increased rapidly, and our knowledge of the molecular interactions of tospoviruses with their host plants and vectors has expanded. In this review, we present an overview of the genus with particular emphasis on new understandings of the molecular plant-virus and vector-virus interactions as well as relationships among genus members.


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