Differences in host resistance and susceptibility to infection modulate the rate of plant virus evolution

October 2023

  • Date: Oct 4, 2023
  • Time: 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Santiago F. Elena
  • I2SysBio (CSIC-UV), Spain
  • Location: Central Building
  • Room: Lecture Hall
  • Host: Marco Incarbone


Differences in host susceptibility can lead to virus diversification into different strains. Here I’ll summarize a series of evolution studies of potyviruses in Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with disruptions in infection-response pathways. The plant genotypes were categorized based on their infection response. We found that virus evolution was faster in more resistant hosts. The original virus's phenotypic differences across host genotypes reduced after evolution, due to selection and chance. Restrictive plant genotypes favored generalist viruses, while permissive genotypes favored specialist viruses. The study identified the genome-linked protein VPg as a selection target in most host genotypes. Overall, the research highlights how various host defenses impact the speed and extent of virus evolution.

Navarro R, et al. (2022) Defects in plant immunity modulate the rates and patterns of RNA virus evolution. Virus Evol. 8, veac059.

González R, et al. (2019) Role of host genetic diversity for susceptibility-to-infection in the evolution of virulence of a plant virus. Virus Evol. 5, vez024.

Hillung J, et al. (2014) Experimental evolution of an emerging plant virus in host genotypes that differ in their susceptibility to infection. Evolution 68, 2467-2480.

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