Submitted to: Biotechnology International
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Owens, R.A., Hammond, R. 2005. Viroids: secrets slowly revealed. Biotechnology International. 17:23-26.
Interpretive Summary: Viroids are the smallest known agents of infectious disease – small, circular RNA molecules that lack the coat protein characteristic of most conventional viruses yet are able to multiply and cause disease in susceptible host plants. Because they do not code for any protein, viroids rely on host enzymes for their replication. Despite their extreme simplicity, viroid induce pathogenic effects in their plant hosts by direct interaction between the viroid RNA (or viroid-specific RNAs generated during infection) and one or more cellular targets. This article was prepared for a semi-popular European publication targeting the biotechnology industry and briefly describes the current “state of the art” in viroid molecular biology - especially viroid movement across cellular boundaries and disease induction.
Technical Abstract: None.