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Catch Me If You Can! RNA Silencing-Based Improvement of Antiviral Plant Immunity

Centre for BioSystems, Institute of Phytopathology, Land Use and Nutrition, Justus Liebig University, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26, D-35392 Giessen, Germany
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Viruses 2019, 11(7), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070673
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Virus Ecology and Biodiversity)
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Abstract

Viruses are obligate parasites which cause a range of severe plant diseases that affect farm productivity around the world, resulting in immense annual losses of yield. Therefore, control of viral pathogens continues to be an agronomic and scientific challenge requiring innovative and ground-breaking strategies to meet the demands of a growing world population. Over the last decade, RNA silencing has been employed to develop plants with an improved resistance to biotic stresses based on their function to provide protection from invasion by foreign nucleic acids, such as viruses. This natural phenomenon can be exploited to control agronomically relevant plant diseases. Recent evidence argues that this biotechnological method, called host-induced gene silencing, is effective against sucking insects, nematodes, and pathogenic fungi, as well as bacteria and viruses on their plant hosts. Here, we review recent studies which reveal the enormous potential that RNA-silencing strategies hold for providing an environmentally friendly mechanism to protect crop plants from viral diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA silencing; Host-induced gene silencing; Spray-induced gene silencing; virus control; RNA silencing-based crop protection; GMO crops RNA silencing; Host-induced gene silencing; Spray-induced gene silencing; virus control; RNA silencing-based crop protection; GMO crops
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Gaffar, F.Y.; Koch, A. Catch Me If You Can! RNA Silencing-Based Improvement of Antiviral Plant Immunity. Viruses 2019, 11, 673.

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