Vacuolar water movement is largely controlled by membrane channels called tonoplast-intrinsic aquaporins (TIP-AQPs). Some TIP-AQP genes, such as TIP2;2 and TIP1;1, are up-regulated upon exposure to biotic stress. Moreover, TIP1;1 transcript levels are higher in leaves of a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) line resistant to Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) than in those of a susceptible line with a similar genetic background. Virus-induced silencing of TIP1;1 in the tomato resistant line and the use of an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) tip1;1 null mutant showed that resistance to TYLCV is severely compromised in the absence of TIP1:1. Constitutive expression of tomato TIP2;2 in transgenic TYLCV-susceptible tomato and Arabidopsis plants was correlated with increased TYLCV resistance, increased transpiration, decreased abscisic acid levels, and increased salicylic acid levels at the early stages of infection. We propose that TIP-AQPs affect the induction of leaf abscisic acid, which leads to increased levels of transpiration and gas exchange, as well as better salicylic acid signaling.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a name given to a variety of techniques commonly used for visualizing gene transcripts in eukaryotic cells and can be further modified to visualize other components in the cell such as infection with viruses and bacteria. Spatial localization and visualization of viruses and bacteria during the infection process is an essential step that complements expression profiling experiments such as microarrays and RNAseq in response to different stimuli. Understanding the spatiotemporal infections with these agents complements biological experiments aimed at understanding their interaction with cellular components. Several techniques for visualizing viruses and bacteria such as reporter gene systems or immunohistochemical methods are time-consuming, and some are limited to work with model organisms and involve complex methodologies. FISH that targets RNA or DNA species in the cell is a relatively easy and fast method for studying spatiotemporal localization of genes and for diagnostic purposes. This method can be robust and relatively easy to implement when the protocols employ short hybridizing, commercially-purchased probes, which are not expensive. This is particularly robust when sample preparation, fixation, hybridization, and microscopic visualization do not involve complex steps. Here we describe a protocol for localization of bacteria and viruses in insect and plant tissues. The method is based on simple preparation, fixation, and hybridization of insect whole mounts and dissected organs or hand-made plant sections, with 20 base pairs short DNA probes conjugated to fluorescent dyes on their 5' or 3' ends. This protocol has been successfully applied to a number of insect and plant tissues, and can be used to analyze expression of mRNAs or other RNA or DNA species in the cell.
Numerous animal and plant viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors in a persistent, circulative manner. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci. We report here that infection with Rickettsia spp., a facultative endosymbiont of whiteflies, altered TYLCV-B. tabaci interactions. A B. tabaci strain infected with Rickettsia acquired more TYLCV from infected plants, retained the virus longer, and exhibited nearly double the transmission efficiency compared to an uninfected B. tabaci strain with the same genetic background. Temporal and spatial antagonistic relationships were discovered between Rickettsia and TYLCV within the whitefly. In different time course experiments, the levels of virus and Rickettsia within the insect were inversely correlated. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of Rickettsia-infected midguts provided evidence for niche exclusion between Rickettsia and TYLCV. In particular, high levels of the bacterium in the midgut resulted in higher virus concentrations in the filter chamber, a favored site for virus translocation along the transmission pathway, whereas low levels of Rickettsia in the midgut resulted in an even distribution of the virus. Taken together, these results indicate that Rickettsia, by infecting the midgut, increases TYLCV transmission efficacy, adding further insights into the complex association between persistent plant viruses, their insect vectors, and microorganism tenants that reside within these insects.
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a begomovirus infecting tomato cultures worldwide. TYLCV is transmitted to plants by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Once in the plant, the virus is subjected to attack by the host-plant defences, which may include sequestration in aggregates, proteolysis, ubiquitination, 26S proteasome degradation and autophagy. Elucidating how the virus avoids destruction will make it possible to understand infection and possibly devise countermeasures.
Next-generation high throughput sequencing technologies became available at the onset of the 21st century. They provide a highly efficient, rapid, and low cost DNA sequencing platform beyond the reach of the standard and traditional DNA sequencing technologies developed in the late 1970s. They are continually improved to become faster, more efficient and cheaper. They have been used in many fields of biology since 2004. In 2009, next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies began to be applied to several areas of plant virology including virus/viroid genome sequencing, discovery and detection, ecology and epidemiology, replication and transcription. Identification and characterization of known and unknown viruses and/or viroids in infected plants are currently among the most successful applications of these technologies. It is expected that NGS will play very significant roles in many research and non-research areas of plant virology.
Sap-sucking insects are important pests in agriculture and good models to study insect biology. The role of ecdysone pathway genes in the life history of this group of insects is largely unknown likely due to a lack of efficient gene silencing methods allowing functional genetic analyses. Here, we developed a new and high throughput method to silence whitefly genes using a leaf-mediated dsRNA feeding method. We have applied this method to explore the roles of genes within the molting hormone-ecdysone synthesis and signaling pathway for the survival, reproduction and development of whiteflies. Silencing of genes in the ecdysone pathway had a limited effect on the survival and fecundity of adult whiteflies. However, gene silencing reduced survival and delayed development of the whitefly during nymphal stages. These data suggest that the silencing method developed here provides a useful tool for functional gene discovery studies of sap-sucking insects, and further indicate the potential of regulating the ecdysone pathway in whitefly control.
The development of high-throughput technologies allows for evaluating gene expression at the whole-genome level. Together with proteomic and metabolomic studies, these analyses have resulted in the identification of plant genes whose function or expression is altered as a consequence of pathogen attacks. Members of the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) complex are among the most important pathogens impairing production of agricultural crops worldwide. To understand how these geminiviruses subjugate plant defenses, and to devise counter-measures, it is essential to identify the host genes affected by infection and to determine their role in susceptible and resistant plants. We have used a reverse genetics approach based on Tobacco rattle virus-induced gene silencing (TRV-VIGS) to uncover genes involved in viral infection of susceptible plants, and to identify genes underlying virus resistance. To identify host genes with a role in geminivirus infection, we have engineered a Nicotiana benthamiana line, coined 2IRGFP, which over-expresses GFP upon virus infection. With this system, we have achieved an accurate description of the dynamics of virus replication in space and time. Upon silencing selected N. benthamiana genes previously shown to be related to host response to geminivirus infection, we have identified eighteen genes involved in a wide array of cellular processes. Plant genes involved in geminivirus resistance were studied by comparing two tomato lines: one resistant (R), the other susceptible (S) to the virus. Sixty-nine genes preferentially expressed in R tomatoes were identified by screening cDNA libraries from infected and uninfected R and S genotypes. Out of the 25 genes studied so far, the silencing of five led to the total collapse of resistance, suggesting their involvement in the resistance gene network. This review of our results indicates that TRV-VIGS is an exquisite reverse genetics tool that may provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying plant infection and resistance to infection by begomoviruses.
A functional capsid protein (CP) is essential for host plant infection and insect transmission of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and other monopartite begomoviruses. We have previously shown that TYLCV CP specifically interacts with the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) of the virus insect vector, Bemisia tabaci. Here we demonstrate that during the development of tomato plant infection with TYLCV, a significant amount of HSP70 shifts from a soluble form into insoluble aggregates. CP and HSP70 co-localize in these aggregates, first in the cytoplasm, then in the nucleus of cells associated with the vascular system. CP-HSP70 interaction was demonstrated by co-immunopreciptation in cytoplasmic - but not in nuclear extracts from leaf and stem. Inhibition of HSP70 expression by quercetin caused a decrease in the amount of nuclear CP aggregates and a re-localization of a GFP-CP fusion protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. HSP70 inactivation resulted in a decrease of TYLCV DNA levels, demonstrating the role of HSP70 in TYLCV multiplication in planta. The current study reveals for the first time the involvement of plant HSP70 in TYLCV CP intracellular movement. As described earlier, nuclear aggregates contained TYLCV DNA-CP complexes and infectious virions. Showing that HSP70 localizes in these large nuclear aggregates infers that these structures operate as nuclear virus factories.
Middle Eastern countries are major consumers of small grain cereals. Egypt is the biggest bread wheat producer with 7.4 million tons (MT) in 2007, but at the same time, it had to import 5.9 MT. Jordan and Israel import almost all the grains they consume. Viruses are the major pathogens that impair grain production in the Middle East, infecting in some years more than 80% of the crop. They are transmitted in nonpersistent, semipersistent, and persistent manners by insects (aphids, leafhoppers, and mites), and through soil and seeds. Hence, cereal viruses have to be controlled, not only in the field but also through the collaborative efforts of the plant quarantine services inland and at the borders, involving all the Middle Eastern countries. Diagnosis of cereal viruses may include symptom observation, immunological technologies such as ELISA using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies raised against virus coat protein expressed in bacteria, and molecular techniques such as PCR, microarrays, and deep sequencing. In this chapter, we explore the different diagnoses, typing, and detection techniques of cereal viruses available to the Middle Eastern countries. We highlight the plant quarantine service and the prevention methods. Finally, we review the breeding efforts for virus resistance, based on conventional selection and genetic engineering.
Many scientists, if not all, feel that their particular plant virus should appear in any list of the most important plant viruses. However, to our knowledge, no such list exists. The aim of this review was to survey all plant virologists with an association with Molecular Plant Pathology and ask them to nominate which plant viruses they would place in a Top 10 based on scientific/economic importance. The survey generated more than 250 votes from the international community, and allowed the generation of a Top 10 plant virus list for Molecular Plant Pathology. The Top 10 list includes, in rank order, (1) Tobacco mosaic virus, (2) Tomato spotted wilt virus, (3) Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, (4) Cucumber mosaic virus, (5) Potato virus Y, (6) Cauliflower mosaic virus, (7) African cassava mosaic virus, (8) Plum pox virus, (9) Brome mosaic virus and (10) Potato virus X, with honourable mentions for viruses just missing out on the Top 10, including Citrus tristeza virus, Barley yellow dwarf virus, Potato leafroll virus and Tomato bushy stunt virus. This review article presents a short review on each virus of the Top 10 list and its importance, with the intent of initiating discussion and debate amongst the plant virology community, as well as laying down a benchmark, as it will be interesting to see in future years how perceptions change and which viruses enter and leave the Top 10.
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) (Geminiviridae: Begomovirus) is exclusively vectored by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). TYLCV transmission depends upon a 63-kDa GroEL protein produced by the vectors endosymbiotic bacteria. B. tabaci is a species complex comprising several genetically distinct biotypes that show different secondary-symbiont fauna. In Israel, the B biotype harbors Hamiltonella, and the Q biotype harbors Wolbachia and Arsenophonus. Both biotypes harbor Rickettsia and Portiera (the obligatory primary symbionts). The aim of this study was to determine which B. tabaci symbionts are involved in TYLCV transmission using B. tabaci populations collected in Israel. Virus transmission assays by B. tabaci showed that the B biotype efficiently transmits the virus, while the Q biotype scarcely transmits it. Yeast two-hybrid and protein pulldown assays showed that while the GroEL protein produced by Hamiltonella interacts with TYLCV coat protein, GroEL produced by Rickettsia and Portiera does not. To assess the role of Wolbachia and Arsenophonus GroEL proteins (GroELs), we used an immune capture PCR (IC-PCR) assay, employing in vivo- and in vitro-synthesized GroEL proteins from all symbionts and whitefly artificial feeding through membranes. Interaction between GroEL and TYLCV was found to occur in the B biotype, but not in the Q biotype. This assay further showed that release of virions protected by GroEL occurs adjacent to the primary salivary glands. Taken together, the GroEL protein produced by Hamiltonella (present in the B biotype, but absent in the Q biotype) facilitates TYLCV transmission. The other symbionts from both biotypes do not seem to be involved in transmission of this virus.
Tomato yellow leaf curl disease (TYLCD) is one of the most devastating viral diseases affecting tomato crops in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of the world. Here, we focus on the interactions through recombination between the different begomovirus species causing TYLCD, provide an overview of the interactions with the cellular genes involved in viral replication, and highlight recent progress on the relationships between these viruses and their vector, the whitefly Bemisia tabaci.
Tomato plants transformed with a cDNA clone encoding the inhibitor-of-virus-replication (IVR) gene were partially resistant to Botrytis cinerea. This resistance was observed as a significant reduction in the size of lesions induced by the fungus in transgenic plants compared with the lesions on the nontransgenic control plants. This resistance was weakened when plants were kept at an elevated temperature, 32 degrees C, before inoculation with B. cinerea compared with plants kept at 17 to 22 degrees C prior to inoculation. Resistance correlated with the presence of IVR transcripts, as detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. This is one of the few cases in which a gene associated with resistance to a virus also seems to be involved in resistance to a fungal disease.
To identify genes involved in resistance of tomato to Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), cDNA libraries from lines resistant (R) and susceptible (S) to the virus were compared. The hexose transporter LeHT1 was found to be expressed preferentially in R tomato plants. The role of LeHT1 in the establishment of TYLCV resistance was studied in R plants where LeHT1 has been silenced using Tobacco rattle virus-induced gene silencing (TRV VIGS). Following TYLCV inoculation, LeHT1-silenced R plants showed inhibition of growth and enhanced virus accumulation and spread. In addition, a necrotic response was observed along the stem and petioles of infected LeHT1-silenced R plants, but not on infected not-silenced R plants. This response was specific of R plants since it was absent in infected LeHT1-silenced S plants. Necrosis had several characteristics of programmed cell death (PCD): DNA from necrotic tissues presented a PCD-characteristic ladder pattern, the amount of a JNK analogue increased, and production of reactive oxygen was identified by DAB staining. A similar necrotic reaction along stem and petioles was observed in LeHT1-silenced R plants infected with the DNA virus Bean dwarf mosaic virus and the RNA viruses Cucumber mosaic virus and Tobacco mosaic virus. These results constitute the first evidence for a necrotic response backing natural resistance to TYLCV in tomato, confirming that plant defense is organized in multiple layers. They demonstrate that the hexose transporter LeHT1 is essential for the expression of natural resistance against TYLCV and its expression correlates with inhibition of virus replication and movement.
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) causes tremendous losses to agriculture by direct feeding on plants and by vectoring several families of plant viruses. The B. tabaci species complex comprises over 10 genetic groups (biotypes) that are well defined by DNA markers and biological characteristics. B and Q are amongst the most dominant and damaging biotypes, differing considerably in fecundity, host range, insecticide resistance, virus vectoriality, and the symbiotic bacteria they harbor. We used a spotted B. tabaci cDNA microarray to compare the expression patterns of 6000 ESTs of B and Q biotypes under standard 25 degrees C regime and heat stress at 40 degrees C. Overall, the number of genes affected by increasing temperature in the two biotypes was similar. Gene expression under 25 degrees C normal rearing temperature showed clear differences between the two biotypes: B exhibited higher expression of mitochondrial genes, and lower cytoskeleton, heat-shock and stress-related genes, compared to Q. Exposing B biotype whiteflies to heat stress was accompanied by rapid alteration of gene expression. For the first time, the results here present differences in gene expression between very closely related and sympatric B. tabaci biotypes, and suggest that these clear-cut differences are due to better adaptation of one biotype over another and might eventually lead to changes in the local and global distribution of both biotypes.
A reverse-genetics approach was applied to identify genes involved in Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) resistance, taking advantage of two tomato inbred lines from the same breeding program-one susceptible (S), one resistant (R-that used Solanum habrochaites as the source of resistance. cDNA libraries from inoculated and non-inoculated R and S plants were compared, postulating that genes preferentially expressed in the R line may be part of the network sustaining resistance to TYLCV. Further, we assumed that silencing genes located at important nodes of the network would lead to collapse of resistance. Approximately 70 different cDNAs representing genes preferentially expressed in R plants were isolated and their genes identified by comparison with public databases. A Permease I-like protein gene encoding a transmembranal transporter was further studied: it was preferentially expressed in R plants and its expression was enhanced several-fold following TYLCV inoculation. Silencing of the Permease gene of R plants using Tobacco rattle virus-induced gene silencing led to loss of resistance, expressed as development of disease symptoms typical of infected susceptible plants and accumulation of large amounts of virus. Silencing of another membrane protein gene preferentially expressed in R plants, Pectin methylesterase, previously shown to be involved in Tobacco mosaic virus translocation, did not lead to collapse of resistance of R plants. Thus, silencing of a single gene can lead to collapse of resistance, but not every gene preferentially expressed in the R line has the same effect, upon silencing, on resistance.
Transgenesis offers many ways to obtain virus-resistant plants. However, in most cases resistance is against a single virus or viral strain. We have taken a novel approach based on the ability of a whitefly endosymbiotic GroEL to bind viruses belonging to several genera, in vivo and in vitro. We have expressed the GroEL gene in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, postulating that upon virus inoculation, GroEL will bind to virions, thereby interfering with pathogenesis. The transgenic plants were inoculated with the begomovirus tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and the cucumovirus cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), both of which interacted with GroEL in vitro, and with the trichovirus grapevine virus A (GVA) and the tobamovirus tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), which did not. While the transgenic plants inoculated with TYLCV and CMV presented a high level of tolerance, those inoculated with GVA and TMV were susceptible. The amounts of virus in tolerant transgenic plants was lower by three orders of magnitude than those in non-transgenic plants; in comparison, the amounts of virus in susceptible transgenic plants were similar to those in non-transgenic plants. Leaf extracts of the tolerant plants contained GroEL-virus complexes. Hence, tolerance was correlated with trapping of viruses in planta. This study demonstrated that multiple resistances to viruses belonging to several different taxonomic genera could be achieved. Moreover, it might be hypothesized that plants expressing GroEL will be tolerant to those viruses that bind to GroEL in vitro, such as members of the genera Begomovirus, Cucumovirus, Ilarvirus, Luteovirus, and Tospovirus.
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) coat protein (CP) accumulated in tomato leaves during infection. The CP was immuno-detected in the phloem associated cells. At the early stages of infection, punctate signals were detected in the cytoplasm, while in the later stages aggregates of increasing size were localized in cytoplasm and nuclei. Sedimentation of protein extracts through sucrose gradients confirmed that progress of infection was accompanied by the formation of CP aggregates of increasing size. Genomic ssDNA was found in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus, while the dsDNA replicative form was exclusively associated with the nucleus. CP-DNA complexes were detected by immuno-capture PCR in nuclear and cytoplasmic large aggregates. Nuclear aggregates contained infectious particles transmissible to test plants by whiteflies. In contrast to susceptible tomatoes, the formation of large CP aggregates in resistant plants was delayed. By experimentally changing the level of resistance/susceptibility of plants, we showed that maintenance of midsized CP aggregates was associated with resistance, while large aggregates where characteristic of susceptibility. We propose that sequestering of virus CP into midsized aggregates and retarding the formation of large insoluble aggregates containing infectious particles is part of the response of resistant plants to TYLCV.
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is a major cosmopolitan pest capable of feeding on hundreds of plant species and transmits several major plant viruses. The most important and widespread viruses vectored by B. tabaci are in the genus Begomovirus, an unusual group of plant viruses owing to their small, single-stranded DNA genome and geminate particle morphology. B. tabaci transmits begomoviruses in a persistent circulative nonpropagative manner. Evidence suggests that the whitefly vector encounters deleterious effects following Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) ingestion and retention. However, little is known about the molecular and cellular basis underlying these coevolved begomovirus-whitefly interactions. To elucidate these interactions, we undertook a study using B. tabaci microarrays to specifically describe the responses of the transcriptomes of whole insects and dissected midguts following TYLCV acquisition and retention. Microarray, real-time PCR, and Western blot analyses indicated that B. tabaci heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) specifically responded to the presence of the monopartite TYLCV and the bipartite Squash leaf curl virus. Immunocapture PCR, protein coimmunoprecipitation, and virus overlay protein binding assays showed in vitro interaction between TYLCV and HSP70. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunolocalization showed colocalization of TYLCV and the bipartite Watermelon chlorotic stunt virus virions and HSP70 within midgut epithelial cells. Finally, membrane feeding of whiteflies with anti-HSP70 antibodies and TYLCV virions showed an increase in TYLCV transmission, suggesting an inhibitory role for HSP70 in virus transmission, a role that might be related to protection against begomoviruses while translocating in the whitefly.
To discover genes involved in tomato resistance to Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), we previously compared cDNA libraries from susceptible (S) and resistant (R) tomato lines. Among the genes preferentially expressed in R plants and upregulated by TYLCV infection was a gene encoding a lipocalin-like protein. This gene was termed Solanum lycopersicum virus resistant/susceptible lipocalin (SlVRSLip). The SlVRSLip structural gene sequence of R and S plants was identical. SlVRSLip was expressed in leaves during a 15-day window starting about 40 days after sowing (20 days after planting). SlVRSLip was upregulated by Bemisia tabaci (the TYLCV vector) feeding on R plant leaves, and even more strongly upregulated following whitefly-mediated TYLCV inoculation. Silencing of SlVRSLip in R plants led to the collapse of resistance upon TYLCV inoculation and to a necrotic response along the stem and petioles accompanied by ROS production. Contrary to previously identified tomato lipocalin gene DQ222981, SlVRSLip was not regulated by cold, nor was it regulated by heat or salt. The expression of SlVRSLip was inhibited in R plants in which the hexose transporter gene LeHT1 was silenced. In contrast, the expression of LeHT1 was not inhibited in SlVRSLip-silenced R plants. Hence, in the hierarchy of the gene network conferring TYLCV resistance, SlVRSLip is downstream of LeHT1. Silencing of another gene involved in resistance, a Permease-I like protein, did not affect the expression of SlVRSLip and LeHT1; expression of the Permease was not affected by silencing SlVRSLip or LeHT1, suggesting that it does not belong to the same network. The triple co-silencing of SlVRSLip, LeHT1 and Permease provoked an immediate cessation of growth of R plants upon infection and the accumulation of large amounts of virus. SlVRSLip is the first lipocalin-like gene shown to be involved in resistance to a plant virus.
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