The influence of viral disease symptoms on the behaviour of virus vectors has implications for disease epidemiology. Here we show that previously reported preferential colonization of potatoes infected by potato leafroll virus (genus Polerovirus) (luteovirus) (PLRV) by alatae of Myzus persicae, the principal aphid vector of PLRV, is influenced by volatile emissions from PLRV–infected plants. First, in our bioassays both differential immigration and emigration were involved in preferential colonization by aphids of PLRV–infected plants. Second, M. persicae apterae aggregated preferentially, on screening above leaflets of PLRV–infected potatoes as compared with leaflets from uninfected plants, or from plants infected with potato virus X (PVX) or potato virus Y (PVY). Third, the aphids aggregated preferentially on screening over leaflet models treated with volatiles collected from PLRV–infected plants as compared with those collected from uninfected plants. The specific cues eliciting the aphid responses were not determined, but differences between headspace volatiles of infected and uninfected plants suggest possible ones.