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Metabolome and transcriptome analyses to study plant-virus interaction: the case of study Onion yellow dwarf virus - ‘rossa di tropea’ onion.

Antonio Tiberini: Università degli studi Mediterranea

<div>The -omics sciences are becoming a fundamental tool to better understand and investigate host-pathogen interactions, highlighting the complexity of plant responses. In this study, in the frame of the SI.ORTO project (SIR-MIUR grant – SIORTO-RBSI149LD5), aimed to evaluate the effects of <em>Onion yellow dwarf virus</em> (OYDV, genus <em>Potyvirus</em>) on the accumulation of nutraceutical compounds in ‘Rossa di Tropea’ onion (IGP trademark), transcriptomic and metabolomic profiles were obtained using RNAseq and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)/high resolution angle magic spinning NMR (HR-NMR) respectively. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and metabolites (DEMs), in bulb onion samples, healthy <em>versus</em> OYDV-infected, showed, independently, an overall modulation of several metabolites connected to sugar and amino-acid metabolism, and the TCA cycle. Further, magnetic resonance micro-imaging (MRI) on whole bulbs, and determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by GC-MS, highlighted a structural alteration and modulation of compounds related to flavor and organoleptic properties respectively in OYDV-infected bulbs. In agreement with metabolomic and transciptomic profiling, preliminary results showed an actual OYDV modulation of important pathways. This research represents a first and multi-disciplinary study on metabolic modulation in a plant-virus pathosystem (‘Rossa di Tropea’ onion–OYDV).</div>