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  • Philip

Wonder Viruses

This week I was fortunate enough to receive my second COVID vaccination. According to the statistics that means the odds of me contracting the virus (and dying) drop from 57% to 88% - or something like that!


Reading a little more about COVID-19 and relating it to our current weather and season I found out that I can still contract the infection no matter how sunny and warm it is. Exposing yourself to the sun or high temperatures does not prevent or treat COVID-19. Looks like I will be sticking with my hat!


I was also saddened to learn that drinking alcohol doesn’t cure or prevent COVID-19. In fact, drinking alcohol can weaken your immune system. I also learnt from the vaccination staff that drinking 2 litres of water after vaccination is advised; good job there is no water shortage at this time.


I too am receiving information about varieties of wheat and oil seed rape available to buy this autumn. One common theme is that of “virus resistance.” Most commonly Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus or Turnip Yellow Virus.


In wheat, such resistance has been used in Australian varieties since 2003, what is called Bdv2 is a known described resistance gene. From a scientific perspective, it offers impedance of viral replication which in the field means that “resistance” offers reduced symptoms within the crop. (Sounds a bit like the workings of the COVID vaccine.) This is where we get into the nuance that resistance is not quite the same as immunity which would mean “no infection.”


Another point to bear in mind is that “BYDV” consists of more than one virus strain (sound familiar once again?) the resistance inferred needs to be broad-spectrum and effective against the PAV, MAV and RPV strains.

Viruses Causing Barley Yellow Dwarf in Cereals

Genus Virus (alternative name) Abbreviation Luteovirus Barley yellow dwarf virus-MAV BYDV-MAV

Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAS BYDV-PAS Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV BYDV-PAV (Barley yellow dwarf virus-RGV) (rice giallume) Polerovirus Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPS CYDV-RPS

Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV CYDV-RPV

Unassigned Barley yellow dwarf virus-GAV BYDV-GAV Barley yellow dwarf virus-GPV BYDV-GPV

Barley yellow dwarf virus-RMV BYDV-RMV

Barley yellow dwarf virus-SGV BYDV-SGV