Background: Geminiviridae is one of the best-characterized and hence, one of the largest plant-virus families with the highest economic importance. Its members characteristically have a circular ssDNA genome within the encapsidation of twinned quasi-icosaheadral virions (18-38 nm size-range).
Objective: Construction of a narrative review on geminiviruses, to have a clearer picture of their genomic structure and taxonomic status.
Methods: A thorough search was conducted for papers and patents regarding geminiviruses, where relevant information was used to study their genomic organization, diversity and taxonomic structure.
Results: Geminiviruses have been classified into nine genera (viz., genus Begomovirus, Mastrevirus, Curtovirus, Topocuvirus, Becurtovirus, Turncurtovirus, Capulavirus, Eragrovirus and Grablovirus) having distinct genomic organizations, host ranges and insect vectors. Genomic organization of all genera generally shows the presence of 4-6 ORFs encoding for various proteins. For now, Citrus chlorotic dwarf-associated virus (CCDaV), Camellia chlorotic dwarf-associated virus (CaCDaV) and few other geminiviruses are still unassigned to any genera. The monopartite begomoviruses (and few mastreviruses) have been found associated with aplhasatellites and betasatellites (viz., ~1.3 kb circular ssDNA satellites). Recent reports suggest that deltasatellites potentially reduce the accumulation of helper-Begomovirus species in host plants. Some patents have revealed the methods to generate transgenic plants resistant to geminiviruses.
Conclusion: Geminiviruses rapidly evolve and are a highly diverse group of plant-viruses. However, research has shown new horizons in tackling the acute begomoviral diseases in plants by generating a novel bio-control methodology in which deltasatellites can be used as bio-control agents and generate transgenic plants resistant to geminiviruses.
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