Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture and the Otto Warburg Minerva Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel
To better understand the nature of resistance of tomato to the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci, B biotype)-transmitted Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), whiteflies and TYLCV were considered as particular cases of biotic stresses and virus resistance as a particular case of successful response to these stresses. Two inbred tomato lines issued from the same breeding program that used Solanum habrochaites as a TYLCV resistance source, one susceptible and the other resistant, were used to compare the expression of key proteins involved at different stages of the plant response with stresses: mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), cellular heat shock proteins (HSPs, proteases), and pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. The two biotic stresses—nonviruliferous whitefly feeding and virus infection with viruliferous insects—led to a slow decline in abundance of MAPKs, HSPs, and chloroplast protease FtsH (but not chloroplast protease ClpC), and induced the activities of the PR proteins, β-1,3-glucanase, and peroxidase. This decline was less pronounced in virus-resistant than in virus-susceptible lines. Contrary to whitefly infestation and virus infection, inoculation with the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum induced a rapid accumulation of the stress proteins studied, followed by a decline; the virus-susceptible and -resistant tomato lines behaved similarly in response to the fungus.