Date of this Version
Scientia (Bristol). 2019 Jan 22;2019(123):40-43.
PMID: 30881697 PMCID: PMC6417105
Just as human beings can catch a cold, plants can also get viral infections. Understanding the mechanisms regulating the interactions between plants and viruses is the first step towards developing better management strategies and using biotechnology methods to immunise plants and engineer genetic resistance to viruses in plants. This is the focus of research by Dr Hernan Garcia-Ruiz and his team based at the University of Nebraska, USA.
Viral diseases in plants can cause important economic losses as a result of poor-quality products and lower yield. This impact can particularly seriously affect developing countries which are more likely to be dependent on agricultural production to ensure food security for the population. Additionally, the strict sanitary regulations which are in place to avoid the spread of diseases across countries may limit the international trade of agricultural products, compounding the impact of plant viral infections.