Scanning electron microscopy autoradiography (SEM‐AR) in conjunction with light microscope autoradiography (LM‐AR) was used to follow the movement of 125I‐labeled blueberry shoestring virus (BBSSV) through its aphid vector Illinoia pepperi with varying acquisition access periods (AAP). At 6 hr AAP, the virus had reached the stomach; at 12 hr AAP, it had reached the anterior of the intestines, and after 48 hr, AAP was present throughout the aphid. SEM‐AR using backscatter electron detection proved very useful because the sample bulk resulted in a shortened exposure time compared to LM sections, correlation of the autoradiograms could be made with fine structure, preparing large numbers of samples was easy, and examining whole longitudinal sections of aphids at low magnification with a clearly visible marker was possible. Limitations were mostly attributed to sample preparation and, in some cases, were easily remedied.
- Aphid vector
- Scanning electron microscope autoradiography
- Virus localization
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