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Virus Research
Vol. 219, 2016, Pages: 125–143

Taxonomy, biogeography and importance of Heterobasidion viruses

Eeva J. Vainio, Jarkko Hantula

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Jokiniemenkuja 1, POB 18, 01301 Vantaa, Finland.

Abstract

The genus Heterobasidion consists of several species of necrotrophic and saprotrophic fungi, and includes some of the most detrimental organisms in boreal conifer forests. These fungi host a widespread and diverse mycovirus community composed of more than 16 species of Partitiviridae, a species of Narnaviridae and one taxonomically unassigned virus related to the Curvularia thermal tolerance virus. These viruses are able to cross species borders, co-infect single host strains and cause phenotypic changes in their hosts. The abundance of viruses increases over time in Heterobasidioninfection centers, and they are targeted by fungal RNA interference. Long-term field studies are essential for obtaining a comprehensive view of virus effects in the nature.

Keywords: Mycovirus; Wood decay; Biocontrol; Virus transmissibility; Virus taxonomy; RNAi.

 
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