Historically, the majority of plant virology focused on agricultural systems. Recent efforts have expanded our knowledge of the true diversity of plant viruses by studying those viruses that infect wild, undomesticated plants. Those efforts have provided answers to basic ecological questions regarding viruses in the wild, and insights into evolutionary questions, regarding the origins of viruses. While much work has been done, we have merely scratched the surface of the diversity that is estimated to exist. In this chapter we discuss the state of our knowledge of virus diversity, both in agricultural systems as well as in native wild systems, the border between these two systems and how viruses adapt and move across this border into an artificial, domesticated environment.We look at how this diversity has affected our outlook on viruses as a whole, shifting our past view of viruses as purely antagonistic entities of destruction to one where viruses are in a mutually beneficial relationship with their hosts. Additionally, we discuss the current work that plant virology has put forth regarding the evolutionary mechanisms, the life histories, and the deep evolution of viruses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)