Trends in Plant Virus Epidemiology and Control: Opportunities from New or Improved Technologies

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 6312

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Guest Editor
IFAPA, Sustainable Plant Protection, 04745 La Mojonera, Almeria, Spain
Interests: etiology of plant diseases; plant virus detection; epidemiology and control; virus–vector–plant relationships
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant viruses pose a continuous and serious constraint on both the yield and quality of crops worldwide. Globalization and climate change are also providing opportunities for new viruses to emerge and spread regularly, and thus food security is constantly challenged. Plant virus epidemiology studies the rates of temporal and spatial change of viral disease in populations, and determines factors underlying change. Here, transmission is a key determining factor and often depends on the interactions between viruses, host plants, and vectors. Developments in sequencing technology, nucleic acid amplification techniques and risk modelling approaches offer opportunities to confront these increasing risks. High-throughput sequencing-based surveillance approaches can provide information to better understand the impact of plant viruses on crops, supporting the development of more targeted field and lab-based diagnostic tools. Today, the control of viral disease involves novel integrated management strategies with new production practices, genetic markers for rapid screening for resistance, new resistant genes that are incorporated into existing cultivars or into new cultivars, vector management, and virus certification programs. CRISPR-based genome editing is used for generating resistance to a wide range of DNA and RNA viruses. Susceptibility genes are identified that will likely enhance the utility of CRISPR in making susceptible crops become resistant. This Special Issue of Plants will highlight novel techniques and methods used to improve our understanding of plant virus epidemics and to develop better ways to control these viruses.

Dr. Dirk Janssen
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • plant virus
  • epidemiology
  • modelling
  • vector
  • high-throughput sequencing
  • integrated disease management
  • resistance
  • crop breeding
  • CRISPR
  • susceptibility

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3613 KiB  
Article
Comparative Transcriptomics Analysis Reveals the Differences in Transcription between Resistant and Susceptible Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Varieties in Response to Anthracnose
by Yixin Wang, Bin Chen, Chunyuan Cheng, Bingkun Fu, Meixia Qi, Heshan Du, Sansheng Geng and Xiaofen Zhang
Plants 2024, 13(4), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040527 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is a herbaceous plant species in the family Solanaceae. Capsicum anthracnose is caused by the genus Colletotrichum. spp., which decreases pepper production by about 50% each year due to anthracnose. In this study, we evaluated the resistance [...] Read more.
Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is a herbaceous plant species in the family Solanaceae. Capsicum anthracnose is caused by the genus Colletotrichum. spp., which decreases pepper production by about 50% each year due to anthracnose. In this study, we evaluated the resistance of red ripe fruits from 17 pepper varieties against anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum capsici. We assessed the size of the lesion diameter and conducted significance analysis to identify the resistant variety of B158 and susceptible variety of B161. We selected a resistant cultivar B158 and a susceptible cultivar B161 of pepper and used a transcription to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the plant’s resistance to C. capsici, of which little is known. The inoculated fruit from these two varieties were used for the comparative transcription analysis, which revealed the anthracnose-induced differential transcription in the resistant and susceptible pepper samples. In the environment of an anthrax infection, we found that there were more differentially expressed genes in resistant varieties compared to susceptible varieties. Moreover, the response to stimulus and stress ability was stronger in the KANG. The transcription analysis revealed the activation of plant hormone signaling pathways, phenylpropanoid synthesis, and metabolic processes in the defense response of peppers against anthracnose. In addition, ARR-B, AP2-EREBP, bHLH, WRKY, and NAC are associated with disease resistance to anthracnose. Notably, WRKY and NAC were found to have a potentially positive regulatory role in the defense response against anthracnose. These findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the resistance mechanisms of red pepper fruit to anthracnose infection, providing valuable molecular insights for further research on the resistance mechanisms and genetic regulations during this developmental stage of pepper. Full article
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16 pages, 2575 KiB  
Article
Further Molecular Diagnosis Determines Lack of Evidence for Real Seed Transmission of Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus in Cucurbits
by Cristina Sáez, Amina Kheireddine, Arcadio García, Alicia Sifres, Alejandro Moreno, María Isabel Font-San-Ambrosio, Belén Picó and Carmelo López
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3773; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213773 - 04 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1310
Abstract
Begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) cause serious diseases in many crop families. Since 2013, the Spanish isolate of tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) has been a limiting factor for cucurbits production in the Mediterranean basin, forcing farmers to adapt new management and control [...] Read more.
Begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) cause serious diseases in many crop families. Since 2013, the Spanish isolate of tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) has been a limiting factor for cucurbits production in the Mediterranean basin, forcing farmers to adapt new management and control techniques. Although it is well-known that begomoviruses are naturally transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, the capacity of these viruses to be vertically transmitted through seeds remains controversial. Clarifying the potential ToLCNDV seed transmission is essential to understand the epidemiology of this threating-for-cucurbits virus and to design appropriate control strategies. We assessed ToLCNDV distribution in the leaves, flowers and seeds of the infected plants of susceptible Cucumis melo accessions and toleration to the infected genotypes of Cucurbita moschata by conventional and quantitative PCR. We analyzed whether the viral particle was transmitted to offspring. We also evaluated ToLCNDV presence in commercial seeds of cucurbits (zucchini (Cucurbita pepo), melon (C. melo), cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)) and in their progenies. As the assayed seedlings remained symptomless, we increased the reliability and accuracy of detection in these samples by searching for replicative forms of ToLCNDV by combining Southern blot hybridization and rolling-circle amplification (RCA). However, integral genomic DNA was not identified in the plants of offspring. Although the seedborne nature of ToLCNDV was confirmed, our results do not support the transmission of this virus from contaminated seeds to progeny. Full article
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14 pages, 586 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Impact of Agricultural Mitigation Measures on the Spread of Sharka Disease in Sweet Cherry Orchards
by Juan Pablo Gutiérrez-Jara, Katia Vogt-Geisse, Margarita C. G. Correa, Karina Vilches-Ponce, Laura M. Pérez and Gerardo Chowell
Plants 2023, 12(19), 3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12193442 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 775
Abstract
Sharka is a disease affecting stone fruit trees. It is caused by the Plum pox virus (PPV), with Myzus persicae being one of the most efficient aphid species in transmitting it within and among Prunus orchards. Other agricultural management strategies are also responsible [...] Read more.
Sharka is a disease affecting stone fruit trees. It is caused by the Plum pox virus (PPV), with Myzus persicae being one of the most efficient aphid species in transmitting it within and among Prunus orchards. Other agricultural management strategies are also responsible for the spread of disease among trees, such as grafting and pruning. We present a mathematical model of impulsive differential equations to represent the dynamics of Sharka disease in the tree and vector population. We consider three transmission routes: grafting, pruning, and through aphid vectors. Grafting, pruning, and vector control occur as pulses at specific instants. Within the model, human risk perception towards disease influences these agricultural management strategies. Model results show that grafting with infected biological material has a significant impact on the spread of the disease. In addition, detecting infectious symptomatic and asymptomatic trees in the short term is critical to reduce disease spread. Furthermore, vector control to prevent aphid movement between trees is crucial for disease mitigation, as well as implementing awareness campaigns for Sharka disease in agricultural communities that provide a long-term impact on responsible pruning, grafting, and vector control. Full article
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15 pages, 4078 KiB  
Article
Yellow Leaf Disease Resistance and Melanaphis sacchari Preference in Commercial Sugarcane Cultivars
by Luiz Eduardo Tilhaqui Bertasello, Marcel Fernando da Silva, Luciana Rossini Pinto, Paula Macedo Nóbile, Michele Carmo-Sousa, Ivan Antônio dos Anjos, Dilermando Perecin, João Roberto Spotti Lopes and Marcos Cesar Gonçalves
Plants 2023, 12(17), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12173079 - 28 Aug 2023
Viewed by 976
Abstract
Sugarcane yellow leaf disease (YLD) caused by sugarcane yellow leaf virus (ScYLV) is a major threat for the sugarcane industry worldwide, and the aphid Melanaphis sacchari is its main vector. Breeding programs in Brazil have provided cultivars with intermediate resistance to ScYLV, whereas [...] Read more.
Sugarcane yellow leaf disease (YLD) caused by sugarcane yellow leaf virus (ScYLV) is a major threat for the sugarcane industry worldwide, and the aphid Melanaphis sacchari is its main vector. Breeding programs in Brazil have provided cultivars with intermediate resistance to ScYLV, whereas the incidence of ScYLV has been underestimated partly due to the complexity of YLD symptom expression and identification. Here, we evaluated YLD symptoms in a field assay using eight sugarcane genotypes comprising six well-established commercial high-sucrose cultivars, one biomass yield cultivar, and a susceptible reference under greenhouse conditions, along with estimation of virus titer through RT-qPCR from leaf samples. Additionally, a free-choice bioassay was used to determine the number of aphids feeding on the SCYLV-infected cultivars. Most of the cultivars showed some degree of resistance to YLD, while also revealing positive RT-qPCR results for ScYLV and virus titers with non-significant correlation with YLD severity. The cultivars IACSP01-5503 and IACBIO-266 were similar in terms of aphid preference and ScYLV resistance traits, whereas the least preferred cultivar by M. sacchari, IACSP96-7569, showed intermediate symptoms but similar virus titer to the susceptible reference, SP71-6163. We conclude that current genetic resistance incorporated into sugarcane commercial cultivars does not effectively prevent the spread of ScYLV by its main aphid vector. Full article
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17 pages, 2135 KiB  
Article
Development of an In-Field Real-Time LAMP Assay for Rapid Detection of Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus
by Andrea Giovanni Caruso, Arianna Ragona, Sofia Bertacca, Mauricio Alejandro Marin Montoya, Stefano Panno and Salvatore Davino
Plants 2023, 12(7), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12071487 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1973
Abstract
Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) represents a threat to economically important horticultural crops. A real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for in-field ToLCNDV detection was developed, coupled to a rapid sample preparation method, and tested both in field and laboratory conditions [...] Read more.
Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) represents a threat to economically important horticultural crops. A real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for in-field ToLCNDV detection was developed, coupled to a rapid sample preparation method, and tested both in field and laboratory conditions on zucchini squash, tomato, and pepper samples. A set of six LAMP primers was designed for specific ToCLNDV detection, targeting a 218-nucleotide sequence within the AV1 gene. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the real-time LAMP assay and comparison with canonical PCR were evaluated. The real-time LAMP assay developed was about one-thousand times more sensitive than the conventional PCR method, detecting a total of 4.41 × 102 genome copies as minimum target; no cross-reactivity was detected with the other geminiviruses used as the outgroup. The rapid sample preparation method allows for a reliable detection with a low reaction delay (≈2–3 min) compared to canonical DNA extraction, providing results in less than 45 min. Lastly, an increase in ToLCNDV-positive sample detection was observed compared to PCR, in particular for asymptomatic plants (85% and 71.6%, respectively). The real-time LAMP assay developed is a rapid, simple, specific, and sensitive technique for ToLCNDV detection, and it can be adopted as a routine test, for both in-field and laboratory conditions. Full article
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