Caister Academic Press

Evolution of the Interactions of Viruses with Their Plant Hosts

Israel Pagán, Aurora Fraile and Fernando García-Arenal
from: Virus Evolution: Current Research and Future Directions (Edited by: Scott C. Weaver, Mark Denison, Marilyn Roossinck and Marco Vignuzzi). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 127-154.


More than a century of studies have shown that viruses are the causal agents of plant diseases. However, the vast majority of our understanding on plant-virus interactions derives from the study of viruses that cause diseases in crops. It has been only recently that scientists have started to explore plant-virus interactions in wild ecosystems. The results of these new studies have shown that in wild ecosystems plant viruses often appear to be commensals or even have beneficial effects for their hosts. Thus, the absence of negative effects of virus infection in wild ecosystems might be the rule, rather than the exception. This observation could change our perception of plant-virus interactions, and may lead to re-visiting our current understanding on how they evolve. Here, we review existing knowledge on three major aspects of the evolution of plant-virus interactions, plant-virus co-evolution, virus emergence and evolution of virus host range, with special attention to differences between wild and agricultural ecosystems read more ...
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