Cryphonectria parasitica as a host of fungal viruses: a tool useful to unravel the mycovirus world

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There appear to be over a million of fungal species including those that have been unidentified and unreported, where a variety of viruses make a world as well. Studies on a very small number of them conducted during the last two decades demonstrated the infectivity of fungal viruses that had previously been assumed to be inheritable, indigenus and non-infectious. Also, great technical advances were achieved. The chest blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica), a phytopathogenic ascomycetous fungus, has emerged as a model filamentous fungus for fungal virology. The genome sequence with annotations, albeit not thorough, many useful research tools, and gene manipulation technologies are available for this fungus. Importantly, C. parasitica can support replication of homologous viruses naturally infecting it, in addition to heterologous viruses infecting another plant pathogenic fungus, Rosellinia necatrix taxonomically belonging to a different order. In this article, I overview general properties of fungal viruses and advantages of the chestnut blight fungus as a mycovirus host. Furthermore, I introduce two recent studies carried out using this fungal host:''Defective interfering RNA and RNA silencing that regulate the replication of a partitivirus'' and'' RNA silencing and RNA recombination''.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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