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Transcriptional Changes and Oxidative Stress Associated with the Synergistic Interaction Between Potato virus X and Potato virus Y and Their Relationship with Symptom Expression

November 2009 , Volume 22 , Number  11
Pages  1,431 - 1,444

Alberto García-Marcos,1 Remedios Pacheco,1 Justo Martiáñez,1 Pablo González-Jara,2 José Ramón Díaz-Ruíz,1 and Francisco Tenllado1

1Departamento de Biología de Plantas, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain; 2Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas and Departamento de Biotecnología, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Avenida de la Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain

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Accepted 5 July 2009.

Many virus diseases of economic importance to agriculture result from mixtures of different pathogens invading the host at a given time. This contrasts with the relatively scarce studies available on the molecular events associated with virus--host interactions in mixed infections. Compared with single infections, co-infection of Nicotiana benthamiana with Potato virus X (PVX) and Potato virus Y (PVY) resulted in increased systemic symptoms (synergism) that led to necrosis of the newly emerging leaves and death of the plant. A comparative transcriptional analysis was undertaken to identify quantitative and qualitative differences in gene expression during this synergistic infection and correlate these changes with the severe symptoms it caused. Global transcription profiles of doubly infected leaves were compared with those from singly infected leaves using gene ontology enrichment analysis and metabolic pathway annotator software. Functional gene categories altered by the double infection comprise suites of genes regulated coordinately, which are associated with chloroplast functions (downregulated), protein synthesis and degradation (upregulated), carbohydrate metabolism (upregulated), and response to biotic stimulus and stress (upregulated). The expressions of reactive oxygen species--generating enzymes as well as several mitogen-activated protein kinases were also significantly induced. Accordingly, synergistic infection induced a severe oxidative stress in N. benthamiana leaves, as judged by increases in lipid peroxidation and by the generation of superoxide radicals in chloroplasts, which correlated with the misregulation of antioxidative genes in microarray data. Interestingly, expression of genes encoding oxylipin biosynthesis was uniquely upregulated by the synergistic infection. Virus-induced gene silencing of α-dioxygenase1 delayed cell death during PVX--PVY infection.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society