Viroids-host interactions

Viroids are a class of sub-viral plant-pathogenic long noncoding RNAs (240-400 nt) composed of a circular single-stranded molecule. Viroid infection comprises a series of coordinated steps involving: a) intracellular compartmentalization for replication; b) export to neighboring cells; and c) entry to vascular tissue for long-distance trafficking to distant plant organs. Since they lack protein-coding activity, viroids are compelled to subvert endogenous lncRNA-directed regulatory routes to complete their life cycle in the infected cell. We employ host-viroid interactions as experimental system to study cellular biology aspects related to the elucidation of the lncRNA-directed regulatory pathways in plants. Figure