Caister Academic Press

Population Dynamics and Genetics of Plant Infection by Viruses

Fernando García-Arenal and Aurora Fraile
from: Recent Advances in Plant Virology (Edited by: Carole Caranta, Miguel A. Aranda, Mark Tepfer and J.J. Lopez-Moya). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


During the last thirty years, progress in understanding the mechanistic aspects of virus-plant interactions has been remarkable, notably in aspects such as genome replication, movement within the infected host or pathogenesis and resistance. Progress in understanding the population dynamics and genetics of plant infection by viruses has not been as great. However, understanding the kinetics of plant colonisation and the genetic structure of the within-host virus population is necessary for addressing many issues of plant-virus interaction and of virus evolution. The quantitative aspects of plant infection and colonisation by viruses were mostly addressed during the early period of plant virology, when many detailed studies were published that often incorporated mathematical modelling. These issues have not been thoroughly re-examined using molecular techniques. Recent work has focussed on the description of the genetic structure of the virus population at the organ and the plant level. Data suggest that in spite of huge fecundity, the effective numbers of the within-host virus population may be small due to severe population bottlenecks at each stage of plant infection and colonisation, which results in a spatially structured population read more ...
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