And now for the world’s most important plant viruses

Other than possibly the newly discovered leaping beetles of New Caledonia with a mysterious plant diet, few if any plant pests or diseases make it onto any one of the Time Top of Everything of 2011 lists.

But pests and diseases are busy making their way into their own ‘Top 10’. CABI scientists put together a list in 2011 of some of the world’s worst plant pests, and plant viruses and fungal pathogens are also getting together.

Molecular Plant Pathology has published the results of a survey amongst plant virologists, ranking plant viruses based on scientific/economic importance. The historical perspective, the science, the economics and the latest research are discussed for each of the viruses making it into the ‘Top 10’.

First place is given to Tobacco mosaic virus for its scientific importance based on its role which has extended beyond practical plant pathology (as a virus causing serious losses in a profitable crop) to its use as a model system and in molecular pathology. TMV (just to corroborate its importance) is also the highest ranking plant virus on CAB Abstracts. The database has more than 8000 records specifically on TMV since 1909 (just over 10% of all the records on plant viruses on the database), and is still going strong with about 100 records added each year.

‘Top 10 plant viruses in molecular plant pathology’ is free to download here. Now watch out for the ‘Top 10 fungal pathogens in molecular plant pathology’…coming soon…

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