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Virus Res. 2004 Mar;100(1):31-9.

Durable virus resistance in plants through conventional approaches: a challenge.

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INRA, Station de Pathologie Végétale, Domaine Saint Maurice, BP 94, 84143 Montfavet cedex, France.


Breeding for virus resistance is often considered the most efficient and simplest way to avoid the losses due to plant virus diseases. Resistance mechanisms are very diverse and interact with various stages of the virus cycle in the host plant. Resistances may also differ in their specificity, stability and durability. Breeding for resistance is a long and costly process, therefore to be cost effective it should provide durable protection. Three pathosystems are discussed to illustrate some of the field and laboratory approaches that can be used to assess resistance durability: Cucumber mosaic virus-specific resistance in melon, Zucchini yellow mosaic virus tolerance in zucchini squash, and extreme resistance to Potato virus X in potato. The possibility of predicting resistance durability is discussed in relation to the nature of the resistance, the genetic changes required for a virus to overcome the resistance and the effects of such changes on virus fitness.

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