The Earth is a boundless open laboratory where for 4 and a half billion years all kinds of experiments have been going on. The entities that contribute to the history of our planet’s life include viruses, microscopic particles that need to infect living organisms to survive. Viruses can also attack plant cells spreading, for example, over a cultivated land compromising the quality and quantity of crops.
This short movie, aimed at natural science and biology teachers and produced in cooperation with Extracampus to promote the teaching of vegetal virology, explains some of the reasons why this subject can be of interest for higher education institutions. The video is organized into different parts: a short general introduction on viruses (Viruses and plants), followed by an overview of virus-plant interactions (Viruses as plant pathogens) - vegetal virology is, anyway, a branch of vegetal pathology, a description of the possible uses of viruses in the field of biotechnologies (Viruses and biotechnologies), and as instruments to study the development of organisms (Viruses as models of evolution).
The movie can be used in its individual sections, and is available online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlvvLio4I4w (English version); http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQpXbGBM3dE (Italian version).