Arch Virol (2003) 148: 405–421
Revision of taxonomic criteria for species demarcation
in the family Geminiviridae, and an updated list
of begomovirus species
C. M. Fauquet
, D. M. Bisaro
, R. W. Briddon
B. D. Harrison
, E. P. Rybicki
, D. C. Stenger
J. Stanley (Study Group Chair)
ILTAB/Danforth Plant Science Center, St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Department of Molecular Genetics and Plant Biotechnology Center,
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.
Department of Disease and Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, U.K.
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.
Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, U.K.
Department of Microbiology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
USDA-ARS, Wheat, Sorghum, and Forage Research Unit, University of Nebraska,
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A.
Received October 17, 2002; accepted November 21, 2002
Published online January 16, 2003
Members of the family Geminiviridae characteristically have circular single-stranded DNA
genomes packaged within twinned (so-called geminate) particles. Geminiviruses are currently
divided into four genera on the basis of their genome organizations and biological properties
[2, 20].Those that have a monopartite genome and are transmitted by leafhopper vectors, primarily
to monocotyledonous plants, are included in the genus Mastrevirus, of which Maize streak virus is
the type species. Viruses that have monopartite genomes distinct from those of the mastreviruses
and that are transmitted by leafhopper vectors to dicotyledonous plants are included in the
genus Curtovirus, with Beet curly top virus as the type species. The genus Topocuvirus, recently
recognized by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) , has only one
member (also the type species), Tomato pseudo-curly top virus, which has a monopartite genome
viruses that are transmitted by the whiteﬂy Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) to dicotyledonous plants,
with Bean golden yellow mosaic virus (originally Bean golden mosaic virus – Puerto Rico)asthe
type species. Many begomoviruses have bipartite genomes (DNA A and DNA B components),
although numerous begomoviruses with a monopartite genome occur in the Old World, and there
are some for which a single component is not infectious yet no DNA B component has been found.
Geminiviruses cause signiﬁcant yield losses to many crop plants throughout the world [5, 7].
Because of their economic importance and the relative ease with which their DNA genomes
can be cloned, many geminiviruses have been isolated and characterized. Guidelines for naming