Plant–Virus Interactions

  • Sunita Yadav
  • Anju K. Chhibbar


Viruses are small pathogens not visible under light microscope and are causal agents for many common plant diseases. They lead to heavy economic losses in crop production and quality in different parts of the world. The simplest viruses are composed of nucleic acid and protein coat. Plant viruses mostly have single-stranded ribonucleic acid (ssRNA), but in few cases single- or double-stranded DNA may also be present. They are obligate parasites and require host machinery for their reproduction. They make their passive entry into plant cells through the wounds caused by either physical injuries, through environmental factors, or by the vectors which could be insects, nematodes, fungi, and even mites. Viral RNA disassembles, replicates, and converts its mRNA to proteins in the host cytoplasm using energy and proteins from the host cell. Once viruses enter the host, they move from infected cells to healthy neighboring cells locally. Long-distance transport via the vascular system for systemic infection is also the key feature of plant viruses. In response to the infection by viruses, plants also develop certain defense mechanisms. In this chapter the aspects related to movement of viruses in plant system, general response of plants to viruses, defense mechanisms developed by the plant like RNA silencing, virus-encoded suppressor proteins, development of disease-free tissues, and future aspects are considered.


Pathogen ssRNA RNA silencing Suppressor proteins 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyHansRaj College, University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyDeshbandhu College, University of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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