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POSTERS: Molecular plant-microbe interactions

The role of Actin Network in the recruitment of host glycolytic proteins for tombusvirus replication
Melissa Molho - University of Kentucky. Peter Nagy- University of Kentucky

Plus-stranded (+)RNA viruses are the largest and most widespread group among plant viruses, causing important economic losses in different crops. Positive-strand RNA viruses have a limited coding capacity, thus to replicate and infect the host cell they need to co-opt selected host components and subvert specific pathways. Tombusviruses, plant viruses with a small (+) RNA genome, use the actin network to modulate cell dynamics and promote viral replication. Additionally, to build the viral replication compartments and supply the energy required at the replication site Tombusviruses also co-opt the ATP generating enzymes: phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK1) and pyruvate kinase (PK).

To study the importance of the actin network in the recruitment of PGK1 and PK enzymes, we used bacterial effectors that target the actin filaments and affect actin dynamics. We discovered that disruption of the actin network dynamics affects viral replication and the recruitment of the glycolytic enzymes to the replication site. Moreover, my results also showed that the efficient recruitment of the glycolytic enzymes through the actin network is necessary to productively generate ATP within the viral replication compartment.

Overall, my research sustains the major role of the actin dynamics to facilitate or restrict tombusvirus replication, because subversion of the host cellular actin network is a key activity for many plant pathogens, our discoveries will lead to improving plant disease resistance against viruses and possibly other plant pathogens.