RNA silencing can reduce the expression of specific genes through posttranscriptional gene silencing, the microRNA pathway, and also through transcriptional gene silencing. Posttranscriptional gene silencing also acts as an antivirus mechanism. By suppressing this antivirus defense mechanism, viruses affect all three silencing pathways in addition to the intercellular signaling mechanism that transmits RNA-based messages throughout the plant. Productive virus infection may therefore disrupt the normal gene expression patterns in plants, resulting, at least in part, in a symptomatic phenotype. This review examines the cellular world that viruses exploit to provide some insight into the molecular interactions that occur during the virus infection cycle and how these produce the symptoms on infected plants.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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