United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV, U.S.A.
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Accepted 14 March 2007.
Plant viruses cause a wide array of disease symptoms and cytopathic effects. Although some of these changes are virus specific, many appear to be common even among diverse viruses. Currently, little is known about the underlying molecular determinants. To identify gene expression changes that are concomitant with virus symptoms, we performed comparative expression profiling experiments on Nicotiana benthamiana leaves infected with one of three different fruit tree viruses that produce distinct symptoms: Plum pox potyvirus (PPV; leaf distortion and mosaic), Tomato ringspot nepovirus (ToRSV; tissue necrosis and general chlorosis), and Prunus necrotic ringspot ilarvirus (PNRSV; subtle chlorotic mottling). The numbers of statistically significant genes identified were consistent with the severity of the observed symptoms: 1,082 (ToRSV), 744 (PPV), and 89 (PNRSV). In all, 56% of the gene expression changes found in PPV-infected leaves also were altered by ToRSV, 87% of which changed in the same direction. Both PPV- and ToRSV-infected leaves showed widespread repression of genes associated with plastid functions. PPV uniquely induced the expression of large numbers of cytosolic ribosomal genes whereas ToRSV repressed the expression of plastidic ribosomal genes. How these and other observed expression changes might be associated with symptom development are discussed.
The American Phytopathological Society, 2007