Elena, S. F.,Fraile, A.,Garcia-Arenal, F.

Viruses are common agents of plant infectious diseases. During last decades;worldwide agriculture production has been compromised by a series of epidemics caused by new viruses that spilled over from reservoir species or by new variants of classic viruses that show new pathogenic and epidemiological properties. Virus emergence has been generally associated with ecological change or with intensive agronomical practices. However, the complete picture is much more complex since the viral populations constantly evolve and adapt to their new hosts and vectors. This chapter puts emergence of plant viruses into the framework of evolutionary ecology, genetics, and epidemiology. We will stress that viral emergence begins with the stochastic transmission of preexisting genetic variants from the reservoir to the new host, whose fate depends on their fitness on each hosts, followed by adaptation to new hosts or vectors, and finalizes with an efficient epidemiological spread.