Three-dimensional analysis of chloroplast structures associated with virus infection

It’s not uncommon for viruses to manipulate the host’s membrane system to create protected structures for viral replication. These viral replication complexes (VRCs) “are thought to shield viruses from host defense systems such as RNA silencing, and … provide a microenvironment for enriching viral replication proteins.” Previous studies have identified VRCs in many different membranes, including those of mitochondria, chloroplast, peroxisome and ER. Jin et al. carried out electron tomography based on transmission electron microscopy to explore the 3D structures of chloroplast VRCs. The resulting images and reconstructions are fascinating reveal new insights into viral replication and chloroplasts under stress. Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.17.00871