Text by Steve Lommel (Associate Editor, Virology)
Geminiviruses have small circular single stranded DNA genomes and distinctive twin “geminate” virions. They are transmitted by plant leafhoppers and whiteflies and are prevalent in tropic and subtropic regions. These viruses are responsible for a significant amount of crop damage worldwide. Geminivial diseases are gaining much attention as they are moving into the temperate regions due to vector range expansion. Epidemics of geminivirus diseases have arisen due to a number of factors, including the recombination of different geminiviruses coinfecting a plant, which enables novel, possibly virulent viruses to be developed.
This review nicely aggregates the current information on temporal regulation and control of the promoters in the seven genera comprising the family. The authors conclude that there are, as might be expected, underlying shared mechanisms and themes among the various promoters across genera and also a wide array of unique promoter positioning, temporal regulation and modes of action, reflective of the recombination followed by genetic drift driving modular evolution in this family.
About the research
B.K. Borah, F. Zarreen, G. Baruah, I. Dasgupta
Virology, Volume 495, August 2016, Pages 101–111