Plant immune responses against viruses: how does a virus cause disease? Academic Article uri icon


  • Plants respond to pathogens using elaborate networks of genetic interactions. Recently, significant progress has been made in understanding RNA silencing and how viruses counter this apparently ubiquitous antiviral defense. In addition, plants also induce hypersensitive and systemic acquired resistance responses, which together limit the virus to infected cells and impart resistance to the noninfected tissues. Molecular processes such as the ubiquitin proteasome system and DNA methylation are also critical to antiviral defenses. Here, we provide a summary and update of advances in plant antiviral immune responses, beyond RNA silencing mechanisms-advances that went relatively unnoticed in the realm of RNA silencing and nonviral immune responses. We also document the rise of Brachypodium and Setaria species as model grasses to study antiviral responses in Poaceae, aspects that have been relatively understudied, despite grasses being the primary source of our calories, as well as animal feed, forage, recreation, and biofuel needs in the 21st century. Finally, we outline critical gaps, future prospects, and considerations central to studying plant antiviral immunity. To promote an integrated model of plant immunity, we discuss analogous viral and nonviral immune concepts and propose working definitions of viral effectors, effector-triggered immunity, and viral pathogen-triggered immunity.

published proceedings

  • Plant Cell

altmetric score

  • 8

author list (cited authors)

  • Mandadi, K. K., & Scholthof, K.

citation count

  • 249

complete list of authors

  • Mandadi, Kranthi K||Scholthof, Karen-Beth G

publication date

  • May 2013