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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2003 Oct;1(1):75-80.

Discovering viroids--a personal perspective.

Author information

1
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA. diener@umbi.umb.edu

Abstract

During 1970 and 1971, I discovered that a devastating disease of potato plants is not caused by a virus, as had been assumed, but by a new type of subviral pathogen, the viroid. Viroids are so small--one fiftieth of the size of the smallest viruses--that many scientists initially doubted their existence. We now know that viroids cause many damaging diseases of crop plants. Fortunately, new methods that are based on the unique properties of viroids now promise effective control.

PMID:
15040183
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro736
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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