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Faba bean necrotic yellows virus (FBNYV, genus Nanovirus, family Nanoviridae), causes an economically important virus disease affecting several legume crops in many countries of West Asia and North Africa, especially in Egypt, where in the 1991/1992 and 1998/99 growing seasons, the virus occurred at an epidemic scale on faba beans in Middle Egypt, leading to significant losses. Symptoms induced by FBNYV on the cool-season legume crops (chickpea, faba bean, lentil and pea) are mostly stunting, leaf rolling and yellowing later leading to necrosis and early death of the plants. Epidemic spread of this virus was always associated with high aphid vector populations and activity.

This virus has isometric particles (18 nm in diameter) made up of a single capsid protein (CP) of about 22 kDa. The FBNYV genome consists of several circular single-stranded (ss) DNA components, each of which is about 1 kb encapsidated in a separate particle.

FBNYV genetic resistance was found in lentil but not in faba bean or chickpea and screening for resistance in the latter two crops is in progress. Cultural practices such as adjustment of planting date, roguing of infected plants early in the season and minimal insecticide sprays reduced virus spread significantly in faba bean fields.

Khaled Makkouk and Safaa Kumari, International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), P.O. Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria. Email:;

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