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Virology. 2006 Jan 5;344(1):158-68.

Silencing suppression by geminivirus proteins.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Plant Biotechnology Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


RNA silencing is an RNA-directed gene regulatory system that is present in a wide range of eukaryotes, and which functions as an antiviral defense in plants. Silencing pathways are complex and partially overlapping, but at least three basic classes can be distinguished: cytoplasmic RNA silencing (or post-transcriptional gene silencing; PTGS) mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), silencing mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs), and transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) mediated by siRNA-directed methylation of DNA and histone proteins. Recent advances in our understanding of different geminivirus silencing suppressors indicate that they can affect all three pathways, suggesting that multiple aspects of silencing impact geminivirus replication.

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