An isolate of raspberry ringspot nepovirus (RRV-P) commonly found infecting grapevine in localized areas of the German Palatinate. was serologically closely related to, but distinguishable from, the English type strain of this virus (RRV-E) which is transmitted by Longidorus macrosoma. However, unlike RRV-E, RRV-P had a restricted herbaceous host range and produced symptoms reliably in only two hosts, Chenopodium quinoa and Nicotiana occidentalis-accession 37B: these symptoms were a faint systemic vein clearing which, on most occasions in C. quinoa, was transient. In in vitro studies with herbaceous plant sap, RRV-P infectivity was lost after diluting 1/100-11500, after storage at 20 degree C for 1-3 days and at 4 degree C for 45 days: for similar studies with RRV-E, the values were 1/125 000, and more than 15 days at 20 degree C and 4 degree C, respectively. RRV-P was difficult to purify in quantity and in most preparations seemed to sediment as a single component corresponding to 'bottom' component of RRV-E. Purified particles of RRV-P, like those of RRV-E, contained a major polypeptide and two RNA species of M-r 54 000, 2.6 times 10-6 and 1.6 times 10-6 respectively. There was no evidence from RNA preparations from purified virus particles or, from analysis of dsRNA from infected plants, that RRV-P contained a satellite RNA. The incidence of RRV-P in vineyards was not associated with the presence in soils of Longidorus nematodes, but was associated with the distribution in the Palatinate of Paralongidorus maximus. Furthermore, results from an experiment in Germany in a vineyard planted with healthy grapevines in soil fumigated to destroy nematodes, showed spread of RRV-P into these plants from an adjoining source of infected grapevines and soil infested with P. maximus. In laboratory studies, RRV-P was transmitted by P. maximus at a very low level between grapevines (used as the virus source and test plants) but not to, or between, herbaceous hosts.