Given the global importance of plant viruses in the emergence of plant diseases and the huge economic losses they cause annually, there is an urgent need to understand the role of viral communities to overcome global agricultural, food security and environmental challenges. The INEXTVIR partnership offers me an excellent opportunity to better understand viruses, generate valuable knowledge and contribute to reduce their biological impact on farming systems.
By using High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) approaches my individual project seeks to define the virome of approximately 20 plant species, including wild, weed and crop species. Network analysis will be implemented to define the interactions between hosts and viruses in the different plant communities. Infection networks will be used to identify which plants are preferred hosts for specific viruses. Lastly, the functionality of key plant species in the network structure and their role as reservoirs for virus emergence in crops will be evaluated.