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26 Interactions between Arabidopsis thaliana and Viruses

Anne E. Simon


Interactions between plant viruses and their hosts have been intensively studied since tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) was first characterized early this century. Advancements in nucleic acid technology in the 1980s provided the tools that led to the complete sequence determination of scores of both RNA and DNA viruses. The ability to synthesize infectious transcripts of RNA viruses in vitro, coupled with the development of protoplast inoculation methods (Takebe 1977), led to the identification of sequences involved in symptom expression (Neeleman et al. 1991; Rodriguez-Cerezo et al. 1991; Shintaku et al. 1992), replication (David et al. 1992), and systemic movement (Meshi et al. 1987; Hacker et al. 1992). The availability of in vitro systems for the complete replication of viral and subviral genomes expanded our understanding of the role that viral determinants play in virus replication (Hayes and Buck 1990; Hayes et al. 1992). The ability to transform plants with specific viral open reading frames revolutionized our understanding of resistance mechanisms and is providing new approaches to controlling virus infections (Beachy et al. 1990; Braun and Hemenway 1992; MacFarlane and Davies 1992; Anderson et al. 1992).

Although our knowledge of the structure and function of viral nucleic acids has proceeded at a rapid pace, much less is known about how the plant responds at the molecular level to virus invasion. To date, no plant genes specifying resistance to any viral pathogen have been isolated, and little is known about molecular events that contribute to disease symptoms. The attributes that make A....

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