Ecological analysis of the plant virome structure and of reciprocal transfers between cultivated and wild host populations

Deborah Schonegger / Inra

Project description

The transdisciplinary research of the INEXTVIR project enables us to develop a holistic view on the plant virome in order to establish effective decision-making mechanisms to protect plant health. Since the introduction of High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) it has been possible to gain important new insights into the interactions between viruses and their hosts. I would like to extend these findings by studying dynamics of virus populations in agricultural and natural ecosystems to improve the sustainability of agricultural production using HTS. My individual project aims to characterize the virome of wild and cultivated plants under different growth conditions with the simultaneous evaluation of viral fluxes between the natural and agricultural compartments. This allows the assessment of patterns of virus distribution and dynamics within these compartments thus extending the perspective of the plant virus epidemiology.

Project goals

  1. Characterization of the virome of one or two selected wild species under different growth conditions (wild populations, within crops-populations),
  2. to estimate how this virome is affected by ecological factors such as plant cover diversity and closeness with particular crops and
  3. to symmetrically evaluate how the virome of wild plants (which might act as reservoir) is affecting that of the neighboring crops allowing a deeper understanding of viral fluxes between the wild and cultivated compartments.