Rosette is the most destructive virus disease of groundnut in sub-Saharan Africa. It is caused by a complex of three agents, namely groundnut rosette assistor virus, groundnut rosette virus and its satellite RNA. The disease appears to be indigenous to Africa as it has not been recorded elsewhere. Thus rosette represents a new-encounter situation as the disease is thought to have spread to the introduced groundnut from indigenous host plants. Rosette has been known since 1907 and much information has been obtained on the main features of the disease, viz. its biology, transmission, viral aetiology and diagnosis, and the impact of chemical control of the aphid vector, cultural practices and virus-resistant varieties on disease management. However, there are still many gaps in the available knowledge, especially the reasons for the large and unpredictable fluctuations in the incidence and severity of rosette disease throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Three unresolved issues of particular importance concern the nature of the primary source(s) of inoculum, the means of survival of virus and vector during unfavourable periods, and the distances over which the aphid vector can disperse and disseminate virus. Now that the aetiology of the disease is understood and diagnostic tools have been developed, the time is opportune for new initiatives in understanding the ecology and epidemiology of rosette. Substantial progress can be made by developing a co-ordinated multi-disciplinary research programme and making full use of the latest techniques, approaches and experience gained elsewhere with other insect-borne viruses. This information would help to explain the sporadic disease epidemics that cause serious crop losses and sometimes total crop failure, and would also facilitate the development of disease forecasting methods and sustainable integrated disease management strategies.
Naidu, R.A.; Bottenberg, H.; Subrahmanyam, P.; Kimmins, F.M.; Robinson, D.J.; Thresh, J.M. Epidemiology of groundnut rosette virus disease: current status and future research needs. Annals of Applied Biology (1998) 132 (3) 525-548. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.1998.tb05227.x]