Robust RNA silencing-mediated resistance to Plum pox virus under variable abiotic and biotic conditions

Elisa Di Nicola, Mario Tavazza, Alessandra Lucioli, Laura Salandri, Vincenza Ilardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Some abiotic and biotic conditions are known to have a negative impact on post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), thus representing a potential concern for the production of stable engineered virus resistance traits. However, depending on the strategy followed to achieve PTGS of the transgene, different responses to external conditions can be expected. In the present study, we utilized the Nicotiana benthamiana-Plum pox virus (PPV) pathosystem to evaluate in detail the stability of intron-hairpin (ihp)-mediated virus resistance under conditions known to adversely affect PTGS. The ihp plants grown at low or high temperatures were fully resistant to multiple PPV challenges, different PPV inoculum concentrations and even to a PPV isolate differing from the ihp construct by more than 28% at the nucleotide level. In addition, infections of ihp plants with viruses belonging to Cucumovirus, Potyvirus or Tombusvirus, all known to affect PTGS at different steps, were not able to defeat PPV resistance. Low temperatures did not affect the accumulation of transgenic small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), whereas a clear increase in the amount of siRNAs was observed during infections sustained by Cucumber mosaic virus and Potato virus Y. Our results show that the above stress factors do not represent an important concern for the production, through ihp-PTGS technology, of transgenic plants having robust virus resistance traits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841 - 847
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this