1 Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University Mumbai, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, India
3 Department of Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, Bihar Agricultural University, Bhagalpur, India
The host range of a virus is defined as the number of species a virus potentially infects. The specialist virus infects one or few related species while the generalist virus infects several different species, possibly in different families. Origin of generalist viruses from their specialist nature and the expansion of the host range of the generalist virus occur with the host shift event in which the virus encounters and adapts to a new host. Host shift events have resulted in the majority of the newly emerging viral diseases. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of generalist over specialist viruses and the unique features of plant viruses and their hosts that result in a higher incidence of generalist viruses in plants.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bhagalpur 813 210, India; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org