A plant’s associated biota plays an integral role in its metabolism, nutrient uptake, stress tolerance, pathogen resistance and other physiological processes. Although a virome is an integral part of the phytobiome, a major contradiction exists between the holobiont approach and the practical need to eradicate pathogens from agricultural crops. In their review, V. Oberemok, K. Laikova, I. Golovkin, L. Kryukov and R. Kamenetsky-Goldstein discuss grapevine virus control. But the issue is also relevant for numerous other crops, including potato, cassava, citrus, cacao and other species. Grapevine diseases, especially viral infections, cause main crop losses. Methods have been developed to eliminate viruses and other microorganisms from plant material, but elimination of viruses from plant material does not guarantee protection from future reinfection. Elimination of viral particles in plant material could create genetic drift, leading in turn to an increase in the occurrence of pathogenic strains of viruses. A possible solution may be a combination of virus elimination and plant propagation in tissue culture with in vitro vaccination. In this context, possible strategies to control viral infections include application of plant resistance inducers, cross protection and vaccination using siRNA, dsRNA and viral replicons during plant ‘cleaning’ and in vitro propagation. The experience and knowledge accumulated in human immunization can help plant scientists to develop and employ new methods of protection, leading to more sustainable and healthier crop production.
Read whole open access paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology - early view DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/plb.13338