Many scientists, if not all, feel that their particular plant virus should appear in any list of the most important plant viruses. However, to our knowledge, no such list exists. The aim of this review was to survey all plant virologists with an association with Molecular Plant Pathology and ask them to nominate which plant viruses they would place in a 'Top 10' based on scientific/economic importance. The survey generated more than 250 votes from the international community, and allowed the generation of a Top 10 plant virus list for Molecular Plant Pathology. The Top 10 list includes, in rank order, (1) Tobacco mosaic virus, (2) Tomato spotted wilt virus, (3) Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, (4) Cucumber mosaic virus, (5) Potato virus Y, (6) Cauliflower mosaic virus, (7) African cassava mosaic virus, (8) Plum pox virus, (9) Brome mosaic virus and (10) Potato virus X, with honourable mentions for viruses just missing out on the Top 10, including Citrus tristeza virus, Barley yellow dwarf virus, Potato leafroll virus and Tomato bushy stunt virus. This review article presents a short review on each virus of the Top 10 list and its importance, with the intent of initiating discussion and debate amongst the plant virology community, as well as laying down a benchmark, as it will be interesting to see in future years how perceptions change and which viruses enter and leave the Top 10.
© 2011 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology © 2011 BSPP and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.