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Role of the Genetic Background in Resistance to Plant Viruses

INRA-UR 1052, Génétique et Amélioration des Fruits et Légumes (GAFL), Domaine St Maurice, CS 60094, F-84143 Montfavet CEDEX, France
INRA, Unité Pathologie Végétale, 67 Allée des Chênes, Domaine Saint Maurice, CS 60094, F-84143 Montfavet CEDEX, France
UMR 1332, Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, INRA, Univ. Bordeaux, 71 Av. E. Bourlaux, CS 20032, 33882 Villenave d’Ornon CEDEX, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 2856;
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses and Virus-Induced Diseases)
PDF [2462 KB, uploaded 21 September 2018]


In view of major economic problems caused by viruses, the development of genetically resistant crops is critical for breeders but remains limited by the evolution of resistance-breaking virus mutants. During the plant breeding process, the introgression of traits from Crop Wild Relatives results in a dramatic change of the genetic background that can alter the resistance efficiency or durability. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis on 19 Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) studies of resistance to viruses in plants. Frequent epistatic effects between resistance genes indicate that a large part of the resistance phenotype, conferred by a given QTL, depends on the genetic background. We next reviewed the different resistance mechanisms in plants to survey at which stage the genetic background could impact resistance or durability. We propose that the genetic background may impair effector-triggered dominant resistances at several stages by tinkering the NB-LRR (Nucleotide Binding-Leucine-Rich Repeats) response pathway. In contrast, effects on recessive resistances by loss-of-susceptibility—such as eIF4E-based resistances—are more likely to rely on gene redundancy among the multigene family of host susceptibility factors. Finally, we show how the genetic background is likely to shape the evolution of resistance-breaking isolates and propose how to take this into account in order to breed plants with increased resistance durability to viruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant; virus; resistance; durability; genetic background; Quantitative Trait Loci; epistasis plant; virus; resistance; durability; genetic background; Quantitative Trait Loci; epistasis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Gallois, J.-L.; Moury, B.; German-Retana, S. Role of the Genetic Background in Resistance to Plant Viruses. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2856.

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