Brachypodium and plant viruses: entwined tools for discovery.
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In just a decade, Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) has fulfilled its initial promise as a key tool for realizing new strategies for understanding host and pathogen biology during virus infections of the Poaceae. For this Tansley Insight, I have identified four areas - from the laboratory to the field - that may be particularly fruitful to explore, with a particular focus on Brachypodium-virus infections. These focus areas include: mechanisms of RNA modification of host plants and viruses; coevolution of virus-host interactions; viruses as tools of discovery; and how to explicate the complex outcomes during multivirus infections. Here, I broadly frame our current knowledge of Brachypodium-virus interactions and how these findings may inform virus studies of grasses in the laboratory, field and natural settings.
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