Special Issue "Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Microbe Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jesús Navas Castillo
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Guest Editor
Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea “La Mayora”, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – Universidad de Málaga (IHSM-CSIC-UMA), 29750 Algarrobo-Costa, Málaga, Spain
Interests: plant virology; emergent plant diseases; virus taxonomy; plant–pathogen interactions; vector insects
Dr. Elvira Fiallo-Olivé
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea “La Mayora”, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Universidad de Málaga (IHSM-CSIC-UMA), 29750 Algarrobo-Costa, Málaga, Spain
Interests: plant virology; emergent plant diseases; virus taxonomy; plant–pathogen interactions; vector insects

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant viruses cause many of the most important diseases threatening crops worldwide. Over the last quarter of a century, an increasing number of plant viruses have emerged in various parts of the world, especially in the tropics and subtropics. As is generally observed for plant viruses, most of the emerging viruses are transmitted horizontally by biological vectors, mainly insects. Reverse genetics using infectious clones—available for many plant viruses—has been used for identification of viral determinants involved in virus–host and virus–vector interactions. Although many studies have identified a number of factors involved in disease development and transmission, the precise mechanisms are unknown for most of the virus–plant–vector combinations. In most cases, the diverse outcomes resulting from virus–virus interactions are poorly understood. Although significant advances have been made towards understand the mechanisms involved in plant resistance to viruses, we are far from being able to apply this knowledge to protect cultivated plants from the all viral threats.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide a platform for researchers interested in plant virology to share their recent results. To achieve this, we are inviting you to submit research articles, short communications and reviews related to the various aspects of plant virology: ecology, virus–plant host interactions, virus–vector interactions, virus–virus interactions, and control strategies—from classical genetic resistance to cutting-edge biotechnological approaches. Studies describing new viral genome sequences or presenting comparative transcriptomic analysis should provide novel insights into the biology of the virus to be considered for publication.

We look forward to assembling an issue that highlights some of the best current research in plant virology.

Dr. Jesús Navas-Castillo
Dr. Elvira Fiallo-Olivé
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant viruses
  • emergent viruses
  • ecology
  • virus–plant interactions
  • virus–vector interactions
  • virus–virus interactions
  • genetic resistance
  • control

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Virus Host Jumping Can Be Boosted by Adaptation to a Bridge Plant Species
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040805 - 11 Apr 2021
Viewed by 190
Abstract
Understanding biological mechanisms that regulate emergence of viral diseases, in particular those events engaging cross-species pathogens spillover, is becoming increasingly important in virology. Species barrier jumping has been extensively studied in animal viruses, and the critical role of a suitable intermediate host in [...] Read more.
Understanding biological mechanisms that regulate emergence of viral diseases, in particular those events engaging cross-species pathogens spillover, is becoming increasingly important in virology. Species barrier jumping has been extensively studied in animal viruses, and the critical role of a suitable intermediate host in animal viruses-generated human pandemics is highly topical. However, studies on host jumping involving plant viruses have been focused on shifting intra-species, leaving aside the putative role of “bridge hosts” in facilitating interspecies crossing. Here, we take advantage of several VPg mutants, derived from a chimeric construct of the potyvirus Plum pox virus (PPV), analyzing its differential behaviour in three herbaceous species. Our results showed that two VPg mutations in a Nicotiana clevelandii-adapted virus, emerged during adaptation to the bridge-host Arabidopsis thaliana, drastically prompted partial adaptation to Chenopodium foetidum. Although both changes are expected to facilitate productive interactions with eIF(iso)4E, polymorphims detected in PPV VPg and the three eIF(iso)4E studied, extrapolated to a recent VPg:eIF4E structural model, suggested that two adaptation ways can be operating. Remarkably, we found that VPg mutations driving host-range expansion in two non-related species, not only are not associated with cost trade-off constraints in the original host, but also improve fitness on it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Arabidopsis thaliana Genes Associated with Cucumber mosaic virus Virulence and Their Link to Virus Seed Transmission
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040692 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Virulence, the effect of pathogen infection on progeny production, is a major determinant of host and pathogen fitness as it affects host fecundity and pathogen transmission. In plant–virus interactions, ample evidence indicates that virulence is genetically controlled by both partners. However, the host [...] Read more.
Virulence, the effect of pathogen infection on progeny production, is a major determinant of host and pathogen fitness as it affects host fecundity and pathogen transmission. In plant–virus interactions, ample evidence indicates that virulence is genetically controlled by both partners. However, the host genetic determinants are poorly understood. Through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 154 Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes infected by Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), we identified eight host genes associated with virulence, most of them involved in response to biotic stresses and in cell wall biogenesis in plant reproductive structures. Given that virulence is a main determinant of the efficiency of plant virus seed transmission, we explored the link between this trait and the genetic regulation of virulence. Our results suggest that the same functions that control virulence are also important for CMV transmission through seeds. In sum, this work provides evidence of a novel role for some previously known plant defense genes and for the cell wall metabolism in plant virus interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Persistent Southern Tomato Virus (STV) Interacts with Cucumber Mosaic and/or Pepino Mosaic Virus in Mixed- Infections Modifying Plant Symptoms, Viral Titer and Small RNA Accumulation
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040689 - 26 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Southern tomato virus (STV) is a persistent virus that was, at the beginning, associated with some tomato fruit disorders. Subsequent studies showed that the virus did not induce apparent symptoms in single infections. Accordingly, the reported symptoms could be induced by the interaction [...] Read more.
Southern tomato virus (STV) is a persistent virus that was, at the beginning, associated with some tomato fruit disorders. Subsequent studies showed that the virus did not induce apparent symptoms in single infections. Accordingly, the reported symptoms could be induced by the interaction of STV with other viruses, which frequently infect tomato. Here, we studied the effect of STV in co- and triple-infections with Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV). Our results showed complex interactions among these viruses. Co-infections leaded to a synergism between STV and CMV or PepMV: STV increased CMV titer and plant symptoms at early infection stages, whereas PepMV only exacerbated the plant symptoms. CMV and PepMV co-infection showed an antagonistic interaction with a strong decrease of CMV titer and a modification of the plant symptoms with respect to the single infections. However, the presence of STV in a triple-infection abolished this antagonism, restoring the CMV titer and plant symptoms. The siRNAs analysis showed a total of 78 miRNAs, with 47 corresponding to novel miRNAs in tomato, which were expressed differentially in the plants that were infected with these viruses with respect to the control mock-inoculated plants. These miRNAs were involved in the regulation of important functions and their number and expression level varied, depending on the virus combination. The number of vsiRNAs in STV single-infected tomato plants was very small, but STV vsiRNAs increased with the presence of CMV and PepMV. Additionally, the rates of CMV and PepMV vsiRNAs varied depending on the virus combination. The frequencies of vsiRNAs in the viral genomes were not uniform, but they were not influenced by other viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Yield Losses Caused by Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus-PAV Infection in Wheat and Barley: A Three-Year Field Study in South-Eastern Australia
Microorganisms 2021, 9(3), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030645 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is transmitted by aphids and significantly reduces the yield and quality of cereals worldwide. Four experiments investigating the effects of barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV (BYDV-PAV) infection on either wheat or barley were conducted over three years (2015, 2017, [...] Read more.
Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is transmitted by aphids and significantly reduces the yield and quality of cereals worldwide. Four experiments investigating the effects of barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV (BYDV-PAV) infection on either wheat or barley were conducted over three years (2015, 2017, and 2018) under typical field conditions in South-Eastern Australia. Plants inoculated with BYDV-PAV using viruliferous aphids (Rhopalosiphum padi) were harvested at maturity then grain yield and yield components were measured. Compared to the non-inoculated control, virus infection severely reduced grain yield by up to 84% (1358 kg/ha) in wheat and 64% (1456 kg/ha) in barley. The yield component most affected by virus infection was grain number, which accounted for a large proportion of the yield loss. There were no significant differences between early (seedling stage) and later (early-tillering stage) infection for any of the parameters measured (plant height, biomass, yield, grain number, 1000-grain weight or grain size) for either wheat or barley. Additionally, this study provides an estimated yield loss value, or impact factor, of 0.91% (72 kg/ha) for each one percent increase in natural BYDV-PAV background infection. Yield losses varied considerably between experiments, demonstrating the important role of cultivar and environmental factors in BYDV epidemiology and highlighting the importance of conducting these experiments under varying conditions for specific cultivar–vector–virus combinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessCommunication
Membrane Association and Topology of Citrus Leprosis Virus C2 Movement and Capsid Proteins
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020418 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Although citrus leprosis disease has been known for more than a hundred years, one of its causal agents, citrus leprosis virus C2 (CiLV-C2), is poorly characterized. This study described the association of CiLV-C2 movement protein (MP) and capsid protein (p29) with biological membranes. [...] Read more.
Although citrus leprosis disease has been known for more than a hundred years, one of its causal agents, citrus leprosis virus C2 (CiLV-C2), is poorly characterized. This study described the association of CiLV-C2 movement protein (MP) and capsid protein (p29) with biological membranes. Our findings obtained by computer predictions, chemical treatments after membrane fractionation, and biomolecular fluorescence complementation assays revealed that p29 is peripherally associated, while the MP is integrally bound to the cell membranes. Topological analyses revealed that both the p29 and MP expose their N- and C-termini to the cell cytoplasmic compartment. The implications of these results in the intracellular movement of the virus were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Implication of the Whitefly Protein Vps Twenty Associated 1 (Vta1) in the Transmission of Cotton Leaf Curl Multan Virus
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020304 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Cotton leaf curl Multan virus (CLCuMuV) is one of the major casual agents of cotton leaf curl disease. Previous studies show that two indigenous whitefly species of the Bemisia tabaci complex, Asia II 1 and Asia II 7, are able to transmit CLCuMuV, [...] Read more.
Cotton leaf curl Multan virus (CLCuMuV) is one of the major casual agents of cotton leaf curl disease. Previous studies show that two indigenous whitefly species of the Bemisia tabaci complex, Asia II 1 and Asia II 7, are able to transmit CLCuMuV, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the transmission are poorly known. In this study, we attempted to identify the whitefly proteins involved in CLCuMuV transmission. First, using a yeast two-hybrid system, we identified 54 candidate proteins of Asia II 1 that putatively can interact with the coat protein of CLCuMuV. Second, we examined interactions between the CLCuMuV coat protein and several whitefly proteins, including vacuolar protein sorting-associated protein (Vps) twenty associated 1 (Vta1). Third, using RNA interference, we found that Vta1 positively regulated CLCuMuV acquisition and transmission by the Asia II 1 whitefly. In addition, we showed that the interaction between the CLCuMuV coat protein and Vta1 from the whitefly Middle East-Asia Minor (MEAM1), a poor vector of CLCuMuV, was much weaker than that between Asia II 1 Vta1 and the CLCuMuV coat protein. Silencing of Vta1 in MEAM1 did not affect the quantity of CLCuMuV acquired by the whitefly. Taken together, our results suggest that Vta1 may play an important role in the transmission of CLCuMuV by the whitefly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Primer on the Analysis of High-Throughput Sequencing Data for Detection of Plant Viruses
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040841 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 250
Abstract
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies have become indispensable tools assisting plant virus diagnostics and research thanks to their ability to detect any plant virus in a sample without prior knowledge. As HTS technologies are heavily relying on bioinformatics analysis of the huge amount of [...] Read more.
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies have become indispensable tools assisting plant virus diagnostics and research thanks to their ability to detect any plant virus in a sample without prior knowledge. As HTS technologies are heavily relying on bioinformatics analysis of the huge amount of generated sequences, it is of utmost importance that researchers can rely on efficient and reliable bioinformatic tools and can understand the principles, advantages, and disadvantages of the tools used. Here, we present a critical overview of the steps involved in HTS as employed for plant virus detection and virome characterization. We start from sample preparation and nucleic acid extraction as appropriate to the chosen HTS strategy, which is followed by basic data analysis requirements, an extensive overview of the in-depth data processing options, and taxonomic classification of viral sequences detected. By presenting the bioinformatic tools and a detailed overview of the consecutive steps that can be used to implement a well-structured HTS data analysis in an easy and accessible way, this paper is targeted at both beginners and expert scientists engaging in HTS plant virome projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessReview
Geminiviral Triggers and Suppressors of Plant Antiviral Immunity
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040775 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Geminiviruses are circular single-stranded DNA plant viruses encapsidated into geminate virion particles, which infect many crops and vegetables and, hence, represent significant agricultural constraints worldwide. To maintain their broad-range host spectrum and establish productive infection, the geminiviruses must circumvent a potent plant antiviral [...] Read more.
Geminiviruses are circular single-stranded DNA plant viruses encapsidated into geminate virion particles, which infect many crops and vegetables and, hence, represent significant agricultural constraints worldwide. To maintain their broad-range host spectrum and establish productive infection, the geminiviruses must circumvent a potent plant antiviral immune system, which consists of a multilayered perception system represented by RNA interference sensors and effectors, pattern recognition receptors (PRR), and resistance (R) proteins. This recognition system leads to the activation of conserved defense responses that protect plants against different co-existing viral and nonviral pathogens in nature. Furthermore, a specific antiviral cell surface receptor signaling is activated at the onset of geminivirus infection to suppress global translation. This review highlighted these layers of virus perception and host defenses and the mechanisms developed by geminiviruses to overcome the plant antiviral immunity mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessReview
The Global Dimension of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Disease: Current Status and Breeding Perspectives
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040740 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Tomato yellow leaf curl disease (TYLCD) caused by tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and a group of related begomoviruses is an important disease which in recent years has caused serious economic problems in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production worldwide. Spreading of [...] Read more.
Tomato yellow leaf curl disease (TYLCD) caused by tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and a group of related begomoviruses is an important disease which in recent years has caused serious economic problems in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production worldwide. Spreading of the vectors, whiteflies of the Bemisia tabaci complex, has been responsible for many TYLCD outbreaks. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of TYLCV and TYLV-like begomoviruses and the driving forces of the increasing global significance through rapid evolution of begomovirus variants, mixed infection in the field, association with betasatellites and host range expansion. Breeding for host plant resistance is considered as one of the most promising and sustainable methods in controlling TYLCD. Resistance to TYLCD was found in several wild relatives of tomato from which six TYLCV resistance genes (Ty-1 to Ty-6) have been identified. Currently, Ty-1 and Ty-3 are the primary resistance genes widely used in tomato breeding programs. Ty-2 is also exploited commercially either alone or in combination with other Ty-genes (i.e., Ty-1, Ty-3 or ty-5). Additionally, screening of a large collection of wild tomato species has resulted in the identification of novel TYLCD resistance sources. In this review, we focus on genetic resources used to date in breeding for TYLCVD resistance. For future breeding strategies, we discuss several leads in order to make full use of the naturally occurring and engineered resistance to mount a broad-spectrum and sustainable begomovirus resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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Open AccessReview
Variability, Functions and Interactions of Plant Virus Movement Proteins: What Do We Know So Far?
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040695 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Of the various proteins encoded by plant viruses, one of the most interesting is the movement protein (MP). MPs are unique to plant viruses and show surprising structural and functional variability while maintaining their core function, which is to facilitate the intercellular transport [...] Read more.
Of the various proteins encoded by plant viruses, one of the most interesting is the movement protein (MP). MPs are unique to plant viruses and show surprising structural and functional variability while maintaining their core function, which is to facilitate the intercellular transport of viruses or viral nucleoprotein complexes. MPs interact with components of the intercellular channels, the plasmodesmata (PD), modifying their size exclusion limits and thus allowing larger particles, including virions, to pass through. The interaction of MPs with the components of PD, the formation of transport complexes and the recruitment of host cellular components have all revealed different facets of their functions. Multitasking is an inherent property of most viral proteins, and MPs are no exception. Some MPs carry out multitasking, which includes gene silencing suppression, viral replication and modulation of host protein turnover machinery. This review brings together the current knowledge on MPs, focusing on their structural variability, various functions and interactions with host proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Viruses: From Ecology to Control)
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