Viroids as Companions of a Professional Career
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Cita bibliográficaDuran-Vila, N. (2019). Viroids as companions of a professional career. Viruses, 11(3), 245.
Since the early 1970s when "virus-like" agents were considered as the cause of two diseases (potato spindle tuber and citrus exocortis), their study and further characterization have been linked to the development and use of molecular biology tools. Sucrose density gradient centrifugation and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) played a critical role in the pioneering studies of PSTVd and citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd). This was later modified by using other PAGEs (sequential PAGE, return PAGE, two-dimensional PAGE), and/or different staining methods (ethidium bromide, silver nitrate, etc.). Since then, disease-causing agents suspected to be viroids were usually subjected to a number of tests to define their: (i) Molecular nature (RNA or DNA; single stranded or double stranded; circular or linear RNA); (ii) molecular weight; (iii) secondary and tertiary structure. Further biological assays are also essential to establish the relationship of a viroid with plant disease and to fulfill Koch's postulates.