Vive La Resistance! Engineering plants to enhance virus resistance

13 Dec 2017

In collating this issue of Current Opinion in Virology on Engineering for Viral Resistance we have interpreted ‘engineering’ and ‘viral resistance’ broadly to include the application of exogenous agents to induce resistance to plant viruses, as well as resistance to viroids (autonomously replicating, infectious non-coding circular RNA molecules), and the engineering of plants and viruses to produce medicines. We thank all of our contributors for their insightful, informative, and thought-provoking articles. With their agreement we have dedicated this issue to Professor Milton Zaitlin, who died on October 11, 2016, at the age of 89. Professor Zaitlin was a pioneer in most if not all of the topics addressed in this issue including: some of the first mechanistic studies of virus replication, gene expression, and movement; virus inhibitors and host responses to infection; viroids and cross-protection, as well as the generation of some of the first lines of transgenic plants resistant to virus infection. Professor Zaitlin’s work continues to influence many aspects of plant virology, not only through his own scientific legacy, but also through the many virologists that he trained.