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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis Limits Foliar Transcriptional Responses to Viral Infection and Favors Long-Term Virus Accumulation

December 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  12
Pages  1,562 - 1,572

Laura Miozzi,1 Marco Catoni,1 Valentina Fiorilli,2 Philip M. Mullineaux,3 Gian Paolo Accotto,1 and Luisa Lanfranco2

1Istituto di Virologia Vegetale—CNR, Strada delle Cacce 73, 10135 Torino, Italy; 2Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Torino, Viale Mattioli 25, 10125 Torino, Italy; 3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, United Kingdom

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Accepted 12 August 2011.

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) can establish symbiotic interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and can be infected by several pathogenic viruses. Here, we investigated the impact of mycorrhization by the fungus Glomus mosseae on the Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) infection of tomato plants by transcriptomic and hormones level analyses. In TSWV-infected mycorrhizal plants, the AM fungus root colonization limited virus-induced changes in gene expression in the aerial parts. The virus-responsive upregulated genes, no longer induced in infected mycorrhizal plants, were mainly involved in defense responses and hormone signaling, while the virus-responsive downregulated genes, no longer repressed in mycorrhizal plants, were involved in primary metabolism. The presence of the AM fungus limits, in a salicylic acid-independent manner, the accumulation of abscissic acid observed in response to viral infection. At the time of the molecular analysis, no differences in virus concentration or symptom severity were detected between mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants. However, in a longer period, increase in virus titer and delay in the appearance of recovery were observed in mycorrhizal plants, thus indicating that the plant's reaction to TSWV infection is attenuated by mycorrhization.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society