Classification, Taxonomy and Gene Function of Geminiviruses and Their Satellites
The major constraint for the crop productivity throughout the world is due to the diseases caused by viruses. These plant-infecting viruses emerged as an unavoidable limiting factor and are responsible for severe crop losses in all major economically important plants. Among them, the members belonging to the family, Geminiviridae, are the most devastating pathogens that are transmitted by insect vectors. These geminiviruses cause diseases such as chlorotic, dwarf, leaf curl, mosaic, yellow mosaic and yellow vein in monocots and dicots across the tropical and sub-tropical countries. In addition, these geminiviruses use weeds as reservoir for the spread of diseases. Moreover, these viruses encode only a fewer proteins and rely majorly on the host factors for their replication, disease development and spread. This chapter introduces the readers to the classification and taxonomy of geminiviruses, genus/species demarcation thresholds and the nature of genomic component and satellites associated with geminiviral disease complexes. It also discusses the genome organization of viruses grouped into different genera, before giving a glimpse of the important functions of gene products it encode.
The European Commission for granting Erasmus Mundus Action 2 post-doctorate scholarship through the BRAVE project (Grant: 2013-2536/001-001) is acknowledged.
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