Metagenomic studies of viruses in weeds and wild plants: A powerful approach to characterise variable virus communities

Beata Hasiów-Jaroszewska* (Corresponding author), Dieke Boezen, Mark P. Zwart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


High throughput sequencing (HTS) has revolutionised virus detection and discovery, al-lowing for the untargeted characterisation of whole viromes. Viral metagenomics studies have demonstrated the ubiquity of virus infection—often in the absence of disease symptoms—and tend to discover many novel viruses, highlighting the small fraction of virus biodiversity described to date. The majority of the studies using high-throughput sequencing to characterise plant viromes have focused on economically important crops, and only a small number of studies have considered weeds and wild plants. Characterising the viromes of wild plants is highly relevant, as these plants can affect disease dynamics in crops, often by acting as viral reservoirs. Moreover, the viruses in unmanaged systems may also have important effects on wild plant populations and communities. Here, we review metagenomic studies on weeds and wild plants to show the benefits and limita-tions of this approach and identify knowledge gaps. We consider key genomics developments that are likely to benefit the field in the near future. Although only a small number of HTS studies have been performed on weeds and wild plants, these studies have already discovered many novel vi-ruses, demonstrated unexpected trends in virus distributions, and highlighted the potential of met-agenomics as an approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1939
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • HTS
  • Plant virus
  • Viromes
  • Weeds
  • Wild plants
  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant-OA


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