Cellular remodeling during plant virus infection

Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2010;48:69-91. doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-073009-114239.


This review focuses on the extensive membrane and organelle rearrangements that have been observed in plant cells infected with RNA viruses. The modifications generally involve the formation of spherules, vesicles, and/or multivesicular bodies associated with various organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes. These virus-induced organelles house the viral RNA replication complex and are known as virus factories or viroplasms. Membrane and organelle alterations are attributed to the action of one or two viral proteins, which additionally act as a scaffold for the assembly of a large complex of proteins of both viral and host origin and viral RNA. Some virus factories have been shown to align with and traffic along microfilaments. In addition to viral RNA replication, the factories may be involved in other processes such as viral RNA translation and cell-to-cell virus transport. Confining the process of RNA replication to a specific location may also prevent the activation of certain host defense functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / virology*
  • Plant Viruses / genetics*
  • Plants / virology*
  • RNA Virus Infections / genetics
  • RNA Virus Infections / pathology
  • RNA Virus Infections / virology*