Attacking the defenders: plant viruses fight back

Avner Levy, Mery Dafny-Yelin, Tzvi Tzfira

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Plants use RNA silencing mechanisms and produce short-interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules in a defense response against viral infection. To counter this defense response, viruses produce suppressor proteins, which can block the host silencing pathway or interfere with its function in plant cells. The targets for many viral suppressors and the mechanisms by which they function in plant cells are still largely unknown. Recent reports describe that the 2b suppressor of the Cucumber mosaic virus binds ARGONAUTE and that the P0 suppressor of Polerovirus targets ARGONAUTE to degradation. Another report has revealed that the V2 suppressor of tomato yellow mosaic virus binds the coiled-coil protein suppressor of the gene-silencing SGS3 homolog. These reports provide novel insight into the mechanisms developed by viruses to disable the defense system of the plant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-197
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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