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Involvement of hormone pathways in early onset of TSWV resistance

Joseph Walls III: The Pennsylvania State University

<div>The salicylic (SA) and jasmonic (JA) acid pathways are extensively studied for their implications in plant defenses against pathogens and herbivores. However, there is less work on the role of the abscisic acid (ABA) pathway, the pathway more well-known for its involvement in stresses such as drought, on plant defenses and resistance against plant viruses. In this study we sought to elucidate the role of the ABA pathway in resistance of tomato cv. <em>Better Boy</em> inoculated with <em>Tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus </em>(TSWV). Transcript levels of genes in the SA, JA, and ABA pathways were measured via qPCR 4 hours post-inoculation (hpi). Plants were also tested for successful infection via ELISA several weeks after inoculation. Plants that were ultimately positive for TSWV showed significant differences in gene regulation in the JA and ABA pathways 4 hpi when compared to plants that were ultimately ELISA negative for TSWV, suggesting a role of these two pathways in early onset of resistance. These results may have widespread implications in virus disease management and pinpoint genes that can serve as targets for genome editing for TSWV-resistant plants.</div>