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Poster: Molecular & Cellular Plant-Microbe Interactions: MPMI


Two eIF4E proteins in Yellow Lantern chili pepper interact with Pepper veinal mottle virus VPg
Z. ZHANG (1), N. Yu (1), X. Zhang (2), Y. Zhang (1), J. Wang (1), Z. Liu (3), Z. Xiong (4) (1) Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, China; (2) Institute of Institute of Tropical Bioscience

Pepper veinal mottle virus (PVMV) causes a major disease on the Yellow Lantern chili peppers (Capsicum chinense), an economically important specialty crop on Hainan Island, China. PVMV is a Potyvirus with a genome-linked protein (VPg) attached at the 5’ end of the (+)-strand RNA genome. Interaction between PVMV VPg and pepper eIF4E is necessary for the PVMV to infect peppers. As there is no natural resistance against PVMV in the Yellow Lantern chili pepper, disruption of the VPg-eIF4E interaction by genome editing appears to be a feasible approach to engineer PVMV resistance. Four eIF4E genes were identified from bioinformatic analysis of pepper genomes, cloned by RT-PCR with specific primers, and analyzed by sequencing. The pepper eIF4E family consists of two eIF4E genes (Cc-eIF4E and Cc-eIF4E-Xm), one eIF(iso)4E gene (Cc-eIF(iso)4E), and one novel cap binding protein gene (Cc-nCPB9090). Only Cc-eIF4E and Cc-eIF(iso)4E interacted with PVMV VPg in the LexA yeast two-hybrid system. The specific interaction between these two pepper eIF4E proteins and PVMV VPg was further studied in vivo with bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) tests in infiltrated tobacco cells. Cc-eIF4E showed a strong and consistent interaction while Cc-eIF(iso)4E displayed a weak and inconsistent interaction with PVMV VPg by BiFC. These two eIF4E genes will be further evaluated as potential targets for genome editing in our quest for PVMV resistance in the chili pepper.