Antiviral silencing and suppression of gene silencing in plants

Tibor Csorba, J. Burgyán

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


RNA silencing is an evolutionary conserved sequence-specific gene inactivation mechanism that contributes to the control of development, maintains heterochromatin, acts in stress responses, DNA repair and defends against invading nucleic acids like transposons and viruses. In plants RNA silencing functions as one of the main immune systems. RNA silencing process involves the small RNAs and trans factor components like Dicers, Argonautes and RNA-dependent RNA polymerases. To deal with host antiviral silencing responses viruses evolved mechanisms to avoid or counteract this, most notably through expression of viral suppressors of RNA silencing. Due to the overlap between endogenous and antiviral silencing pathways while blocking antiviral pathways viruses also impact endogenous silencing processes. Here we provide an overview of antiviral silencing pathway, host factors implicated in it and the crosstalk between antiviral and endogenous branches of silencing. We summarize the current status of knowledge about the viral counter-defense strategies acting at various steps during virus infection in plants with the focus on representative, well studied silencing suppressor proteins. Finally we discuss future challenges of the antiviral silencing and counter-defense research field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Research Topics in Plant Virology
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783319329192
ISBN (Print)9783319329178
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Antiviral defense
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Silencing
  • Silencing suppressor strategies
  • Virus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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  • Cite this

    Csorba, T., & Burgyán, J. (2016). Antiviral silencing and suppression of gene silencing in plants. In Current Research Topics in Plant Virology (pp. 1-33). Springer International Publishing.