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Progress and challenges in identifying molecular mechanisms underlying host and vector manipulation by plant viruses


Plant virus infection fundamentally alters chemical and behavioral phenotypes of hosts and vectors. These alterations often enhance virus transmission, leading researchers to surmise that such effects are manipulations caused by virus adaptations and not just by-products of pathology. But identification of the virus components behind manipulation is missing from most studies performed to date. Here, we evaluate causative empirical evidence that virus components are the drivers of manipulated host and vector phenotypes. To do so, we link findings and methodologies on virus pathology with observational and functional genomics studies on virus manipulation. Our synthesis provides an overview of progress, areas of synergy, and new approaches that will lead to an improved mechanistic understanding of host and vector manipulation by plant viruses.

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