Host genetic factors shape composition of virus communities

Plantago lanceolata, ribwort plantain

Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction.

The research is being carried out under the lead of Prof. Anna-Lisa Laine and her teams at the University of Zurich and Helsinki.

Reference publication
Suvi Sallinen, Anna Norberg, Hanna Susi and Anna-Liisa Laine.
Intraspecific host variation plays a key role in virus community assembly.
Nature Communications. 5 November 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19273-z

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