In recent years plant viruses have been detected from many environments, including domestic and wild plants and interfaces between these systems - aquatic sources, feces of various animals, and insects. A variety of methods have been employed to study plant virus biodiversity, including enrichment for virus-like particles or virus-specific RNA or DNA, or the extraction of total nucleic acids, followed by next-generation deep sequencing and bioinformatic analyses. All of the methods have some shortcomings, but taken together these studies reveal our surprising lack of knowledge about plant viruses and point to the need for more comprehensive studies. In addition, many new viruses have been discovered, with most virus infections in wild plants appearing asymptomatic, suggesting that virus disease may be a byproduct of domestication. For plant pathologists these studies are providing useful tools to detect viruses, and perhaps to predict future problems that could threaten cultivated plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science