The critical roles of virus genes for disease development, virus transmission and spread are investigated in molecular and cellular biology studies to attribute genome and biological features of viruses to particular functions, such as virus replication, virus movement, pathogenicity and tissue tropism in the host plant.
Research project Cassava Brown Streak Virus
More than 80% of all plant viruses are transmitted by insect vectors, with aphids, whiteflies, plant hoppers spreading the most important virus diseases of world crops.
We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of virus/vector interactions regulating acquisition, translocation and transmission by insect vectors. Virus transmission by the whitefly vector Bemisia tabaci is our key interest as this insect efficiently transmits and spreads viruses from different genera and is implicated in serious plant diseases of crops around the world and the cause of virus outbreaks that are difficult to control.