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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2008;46:217-42. doi: 10.1146/annurev.phyto.121407.093958.

Yeast as a model host to explore plant virus-host interactions.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, USA.


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is invaluable for understanding fundamental cellular processes and disease states of relevance to higher eukaryotes. Plant viruses are intracellular parasites that take advantage of resources of the host cell, and a simple eukaryotic cell, such as yeast, can provide all or most of the functions for successful plant virus replication. Thus, yeast has been used as a model to unravel the interactions of plant viruses with their hosts. Indeed, genome-wide and proteomics studies using yeast as a model host with bromoviruses and tombusviruses have facilitated the identification of replication-associated factors that affect host-virus interactions, virus pathology, virus evolution, and host range. Many of the host genes that affect the replication of the two viruses, which belong to two dissimilar virus families, are distinct, suggesting that plant viruses have developed different ways to utilize the resources of host cells. In addition, a surprisingly large number of yeast genes have been shown to affect RNA-RNA recombination in tombusviruses; this opens an opportunity to study the role of the host in virus evolution. The knowledge gained about host-virus interactions likely will lead to the development of new antiviral methods and applications in biotechnology and nanotechnology, as well as new insights into cellular functions of individual genes and the basic biology of the host cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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