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Oral: Contributions of Plant Viruses to Phytobiome Research


Summary-The role of viruses in the phytobiome.
J. SCHOELZ (1) (1) University of Missouri, U.S.A.

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Plant viruses have the capacity to modulate the response of their hosts to biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant viruses have been shown to alter host physiology, increasing tolerance to drought stress and inducing or repressing defenses against bacterial and fungal pathogens. In addition, plant viruses can induce subtle changes in their hosts that affect vector performance or preference. What is intriguing about these changes in host physiology is that they are initiated by a pathogen with a very small genome size, as many plant virus genomes are smaller than 10 kb and may encode as few as three proteins. Plant viruses may induce alterations in their hosts through production of small RNAs or through protein-protein interactions. Recent studies have shown that individual virus proteins likely interact with multiple targets in the host to facilitate infection and/or to modulate plant defenses. For example, the P6 effector of Cauliflower mosaic virus interacts with at least 14 host and virus proteins to influence such diverse functions as translation of virus proteins, intracellular movement of virions, gene silencing, plant defenses, and symptom development. This presentation will focus on how the development of interactome maps composed of both virus and host proteins may shed light on the influence viruses have on specific functions in their hosts.