HAU16008-06-7 - MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY(2007 8(2 223231...

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MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY (2007) 8 (2), 223–231 DOI: 10.1111/J.1364-3703.2007.00386.X © 2007 BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD 223 Blackwel Publishing Ltd Review Sources of natural resistance to plant viruses: status and prospects ANDREW J. MAULE 1 *, CAROLE CARANTA 2 AND MARGARET I. BOULTON 1 1 John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK 2 INRA, Genetics and Breeding of Fruits and Vegetables, Dom. St Maurice, BP94, F-84143, Montfavet Cedex, France SUMMARY Globally, virus diseases are common in agricultural crops and have a major agronomic impact. They are countered through the deployment of genetic resistance against the virus, or through the use of a range of farming practices based upon the pro- pagation of virus-free plant material and the exclusion of the virus vectors from the growing crop. We review here the current status of our knowledge of natural virus resistance genes, and consider the future prospects for the deployment of these genes against virus infection. INTRODUCTION Virus infections of crops are persistent and cannot yet be com- bated in ways that can be achieved for animal viruses through the stimulation of the active immune process. Hence, the best strategy is one of avoidance either through the physical separation of the pathogen and host, or through the deployment of genetic resistance to prevent or limit the extent of the infection. In practice, the former is achieved through the use of virus-free seeds or stock plants and by employing physical barriers or pesticides to deter the vectors of virus diseases. Within this armoury, however, the most effective and sustainable approach to the prevention of virus disease is through the deployment of genetic resistance targeted against viruses directly or, in theory, against their vectors. Recently there have been dramatic advances in our understanding of the molecular nature and mechanisms associ- ated with natural virus resistance genes. Dominant and recessive resistance genes have been characterized at the molecular level and we are beginning to understand new principles of innate immunity to viruses associated with gene silencing. These advances have come about as plant biology has moved into a new phase driven by advances in technology. In the next 10 years, we will see the genomes of many of the major crop species sequenced, and technologies for faster and larger scale analyses are being developed in parallel. These advances will provide new opportunities that should change the way we tackle the problem of virus resistance. It will be possible to mine much larger collections of crop germplasm genetically for known and novel resistances, and to deliver these to industry in a more timely fashion. However, as we understand more about the principles that underlie virus replication and genome expression in plants, it should also be possible to move from a reactive to a proactive or predictive approach to tackle the problems of virus diseases.
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HAU16008-06-7 - MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY(2007 8(2 223231...

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