Engineering resistance to virus transmission

14 Jul 2017

Engineering plants for resistance to virus transmission by invertebrate vectors has lagged behind other forms of plant protection. Vectors typically transmit more than one virus. Thus, vector resistance could provide a wider range of protection than defenses directed solely against one virus or virus group. We discuss current knowledge of vector-host-virus interactions, the roles of viral gene products in host and vector manipulation, and the effects of semiochemicals on host-vector interactions, and how this knowledge could be employed to disrupt transmission dynamics. We also discuss how resistance to vectors could be generated through genetic engineering or gene editing or indirectly through use of biocontrol using plant-resident viruses that infect vectors.