Review article

Biological control of pathogenic fungi: Can mycoviruses play an important role?

2022, 23 (3)   p. 540-551

Tomáš Tonka, Lucie Walterová, Vladislav Čurn


In the past few years, huge economic and environmental losses have resulted by fungal pathogens in agriculture and food production worldwide. Fungal toxins also pose a threat for food production and animal health. In the last decade, the site-specific fungicides has been used in plant protection, providing highly efficient protection against phytopathogens. However, the use of pesticides boosted problems with resistance in the targeted organisms and increased negative environmental impact of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. Therefore, new methods are needed to control resistant populations of plant pathogens, including fungi. Mycoviruses are fungal viruses, i.e. viruses infecting fungi. Some mycoviruses affect the growth and virulence of the host fungus and may prevent successful infection of plant host. They have potential to reduce phytopathogens. In this review, the successful examples how mycoviruses alter hypovirulence in well-known phytopathogens are discussed. Mycoviruses could be useful as a one of new next generation pest-control products.


biological control, fungal viruses, dsRNA, ssRNA, plant protection

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