Mycovirology is a new and emerging field but is understudied as compared to plant, animal, and bacterial virology. Since their initial discovery in the mushroom Agaricus bisporus, mycoviruses remain poorly investigated despite their potential as biocontrol agents as exemplified for the chestnut blight fungus ...
Mycovirology is a new and emerging field but is understudied as compared to plant, animal, and bacterial virology. Since their initial discovery in the mushroom Agaricus bisporus, mycoviruses remain poorly investigated despite their potential as biocontrol agents as exemplified for the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. Known mycovirus diversity is expanding following the development of novel technologies including next generation sequencing (NGS). NGS has accelerated the rate of mycovirus discovery revealing novel genomes from multivarious fungal and environmental sources often with novel features. Increased knowledge of mycovirus genome sequences requires their taxonomy to be updated continuously to incorporate extant and new families. The global diversity of mycoviruses needs further exploration to include screens of established and emerging fungal pathogens of humans, animals, and plants. Additionally, the phenotypical and biological impact of mycoviruses on fungal host fitness requires investigation at the molecular level especially with reference to the maintenance and transmission of mycoviruses. Multiple mycovirus infections of individual fungal hosts are commonplace but how such interactions are established and maintained requires further investigation at the molecular level. This is particularly relevant to probing interactions between the viruses themselves. The potential of mycoviruses as a safe option for biocontrol of fungal pathogens needs to be considered and virocontrol strategies to be developed.
The research topic “Mycoviruses of pathogenic fungi: The current research landscape” will cover all novel research concerning mycovirus diversity, characterization, taxonomy, evolution, replication and (neo-)lifestyle, together with interactions between mycoviruses and their fungal hosts. We especially welcome manuscripts describing the impact of mycoviruses on their original or experimental hosts. Studies implementing biocontrol/virocontrol strategies based on hypovirulent mycoviruses or focusing on how hypervirulent mycoviruses confer selective advantages to their fungal hosts are also of great interest. We encourage the submission of original research manuscripts as well as detailed reviews describing recent trends and advances in the field of mycovirology.
Mycoviruses, Hypovirulence, Hypervirulence, Fungal pathogens, Biocontrol
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