About this Research Topic
Plant viruses impose a serious threat on agriculture, which motivates extensive breeding efforts for viral resistant crops and inspires lasting interests on basic research to understand the mechanisms underlying plant immunity against viruses. Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites. Their genomes are usually small and only encode a few products that are essential to hijack host machinery for their nucleotide and protein biosynthesis, and that are necessary to suppress host immunity. Plants evolved multilayers of defense mechanisms to defeat viral infection.
RNA silencing mediated antiviral immunity is recognized as a broad spectrum pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP) triggered immunity (or PTI). Plant Dicer-like (DCL) enzymes process viral RNAs into small interfering (si)RNA to guide plant endonuclease Agonautes to repress viral gene expression. In the past decade, extensive studies have been undertaken and have uncovered a comprehensive genetic frame-work of RNA silencing mediated viral immunity. However, successful virus infection can overcome antiviral RNA silencing. During the plant-virus arms race, plants have evolved effector triggered immunity (ETI) mediated by the nucleotide binding domain, leucine rich repeat containing receptor (NLR). NLR-mediated plant immunity against viruses was recognized and deployed in crop production about a hundred years ago. NLR proteins function as receptors inside plant cells and trigger rapid host defense upon recognition of viral avirulence products, usually associated with hypersensitive response. Since then, enormous efforts were devoted to cloning the NLR receptor and elucidating the signaling cascade involved in virus resistance. It is well studied that MAP kinase cascade, and plant hormone signaling pathway play important roles in NLR mediated antiviral immunity. Besides NLR and DCL triggered viral immunity, translation inhibition is also involved in plant resistance against viruses. In addition, recessive resistance to virus is also identified, such as PVY resistance conferred by certain allele of translation initiation factor eIF4E, which is not compatible with viral protein genome-linked (VPg) protein. We welcome research papers, short communications, reviews, and methods focused on the mechanisms of different forms of plant immunity against virus and application of these knowledge in engineering viral resistant crops.
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