Viruses cause some of the most important plant diseases worldwide with an estimated $60 billion in annual yield losses to agricultural crops. Since the first report of tobacco mosaic virus in the late 19th century, discovery of new plant viruses has increased rapidly, particularly since the advent of next-generation sequencing technology.
Furthermore, the development of reverse genetics systems for a growing number of plant viruses since the late 20th century has facilitated identification of viral determinants involved in replication, movement, vector transmission, host range, and pathogenicity. Studies on virus-host and virus-vector interactions have facilitated identification of factors involved in disease development and horizontal transmission, respectively.
Given the importance of and rapid research progress in plant virology in recent years, Phytopathology emphasized virological advances in its Fundamental Aspects of Plant Viruses focus issue, which is available now.
Phytopathology is an international journal publishing articles on fundamental research that advances understanding of the nature of plant diseases, the agents that cause them, their spread, the losses they cause, and measures used to control them.