Author(s): Kovalskaya N, Hammond RW
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Abstract Viroids are single-stranded, covalently closed, circular, highly structured noncoding RNAs that cause disease in several economically important crop plants. They replicate autonomously and move systemically in host plants with the aid of the host machinery. In addition to symptomatic infections, viroids also cause latent infections where there is no visual evidence of infection in the host; however, transfer to a susceptible host can result in devastating disease. While there are non-hosts for viroids, no naturally occurring durable resistance has been observed in most host species. Current effective control methods for viroid diseases include detection and eradication, and cultural controls. In addition, heat or cold therapy combined with meristem tip culture has been shown to be effective for elimination of viroids for some viroid-host combinations. An understanding of viroid-host interactions, host susceptibility, and non-host resistance could provide guidance for the design of viroid-resistant plants. Efforts to engineer viroid resistance into host species have been underway for several years, and include the use of antisense RNA, antisense RNA plus ribozymes, a dsRNase, and siRNAs, among others. The results of those efforts and the challenges associated with creating viroid resistant plants are summarized in this review. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
This article was published in Plant Sci
and referenced in Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology