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Tomato yellow leaf curl disease and plant-virus vector interactions

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Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) (Begomovirus, Geminiviridae) is the type member and representative of the complex of viruses associated with the tomato yellow leaf curl disease (TYLCD) with ssDNA genome, a plant-infecting group of viruses that have single or double genomic components enveloped by an icosahedral coat protein. These viruses infect tomatoes and other vegetable and ornamental crops and cause severe losses estimated by billions of dollars each year. Begomoviruses are exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci in a persistent circulative manner. First epidemics of TYLCV were reported in Israel in the early 1960s and later on the causative agent was identified as TYLCV. Epidemics were often associated with the presence of whiteflies. Since then, extensive research in many laboratories in the world was conducted to better understand the interactions between TYLCV, the tomato plant and its only vector B. tabaci. These studies resulted in hundreds of research papers and reviews, and in creating new research disciplines unraveling geminiviruses and their interactions with plants and whiteflies. In this review, we will give the readers an overview presenting the emergence of this field of research, main discoveries that have been made, current research disciplines that are being conducted and future research lines that will bring novel opportunities for controlling TYLCV and whiteflies and preventing their damage.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Adriatic Crops, Department of Applied Sciences (Plant Protection) ; 2: Department of Entomology, Agricultural Research Organization


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