Facilitative and antagonistic interactions between plant viruses in mixed infections

Authors

  • JERZY SYLLER

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    1. Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute—National Research Institute, Centre Młochów, 05-831 Młochów, Poland
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Email: j.syller@ihar.edu.pl

SUMMARY

Mixed infections of plant viruses are common in nature, and a number of important virus diseases of plants are the outcomes of interactions between causative agents. Multiple infections lead to a variety of intrahost virus–virus interactions, many of which may result in the generation of variants showing novel genetic features, and thus change the genetic structure of the viral population. Hence, virus–virus interactions in plants may be of crucial significance for the understanding of viral pathogenesis and evolution, and consequently for the development of efficient and stable control strategies. The interactions between plant viruses in mixed infections are generally categorized as synergistic or antagonistic. Moreover, mixtures of synergistic and antagonistic interactions, creating usually unpredictable biological and epidemiological consequences, are likely to occur in plants. The mechanisms of some of these are still unknown. This review aims to bring together the current knowledge on the most commonly occurring facilitative and antagonistic interactions between related or unrelated viruses infecting the same host plant. The best characterized implications of these interactions for virus–vector–host relationships are included. The terms ‘synergism’ and ‘helper dependence’ for facilitative virus–virus interactions, and ‘cross-protection’ and ‘mutual exclusion’ for antagonistic interactions, are applied in this article.

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