Research Highlight

Global begomovirus structure revealed

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.126 Published online 15 September 2010

Researchers have revealed for the first time the structure of the global begomovirus population using a model-based genetic approach. Begomovirus is a plant virus mostly affecting dicotyledonous plants across the tropical and sub-tropical regions. The study will help understand the variations in genetic structure of the plant virus and aid in protecting crops.

White-fly is the known carrier of the virus that poses a threat to global food security.

The team has identified 34 genetically distinct sub-populations within the seven earlier known global begomovirus population. They used a novel model-based clustering approach to study population structures within the plant virus genus.

Geographical barriers are known to be the most significant cause of the seven major population sub-divisions. The team explored patterns of gene flow to reveal that both differences in the hot range and genetic barriers to recombination were majorly responsible for the population sub-divisions.

The researchers say the unravelling of the virus population structure could prompt studies on how some parameters of population genetics shape global begomovirus diversity.


  1. Chandrappa, P. H. et al. The population genomics of begomoviruses: global scale population structure and gene flow. Virol. J. 7, 220 (2010) | Article | PubMed