Viruses of plant pathogenic fungi

Said A. Ghabrial, Nobuhiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

444 Citations (Scopus)


Mycoviruses are widespread in all major groups of plant pathogenic fungi. They are transmitted intracellularly during cell division, sporogenesis, and cell fusion, but apparently lack an extracellular route for infection. Their natural host ranges are limited to individuals within the same or closely related vegetative compatibility groups. Recent advances, however, allowed the establishment of experimental host ranges for a few mycoviruses. Athough the majority of known mycoviruses have dsRNA genomes that are packaged in isometric particles, an increasing number of usually unencapsidated mycoviruses with positivestrand RNA genomes have been reported. We discuss selected mycoviruses that cause debilitating diseases and/or reduce the virulence of their phytopathogenic fungal hosts. Such fungal-virus systems are valuable for the development of novel biocontol strategies and for gaining an insight into the molecular basis of fungal virulence. The availability of viral and host genome sequences and of transformation and transfection protocols for some plant pathogenic fungi will contribute to progress in fungal virology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-384
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Phytopathology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2009


  • Biocontrol
  • Hypovirulence
  • Hypoviruses
  • Mycoviruses
  • Totiviruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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