Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus-resistant tomato plants expressing the multifunctional N-terminal domain of the replication-associated protein show transcriptional changes resembling stress-related responses

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The N-terminal domain (amino acids 1-130) of the replication-associated protein (Rep130) of Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) retains the ability of full-length Rep to localize to the nucleus and to down-regulate C1 transcription when ectopically expressed in plants, both functions being required to inhibit homologous viral replication. In this study, we analysed the effect of Rep130expression on virus resistance and the plant transcriptome in the natural and agronomically important host species of TYLCSV, Solanum lycopersicum. Tomato plants accumulating high levels of Rep130were generated and proved to be resistant to TYLCSV. Using an invitro assay, we showed that plant-expressed Rep130also retains the catalytic activity of Rep, thus supporting the notion that this protein domain is fully functional. Interestingly, Rep130-expressing tomatoes were characterized by an altered transcriptional profile resembling stress-related responses. Notably, the serine-type protease inhibitor (Ser-PI) category was over-represented among the 20 up-regulated genes. The involvement of Rep130in the alteration of host mRNA steady-state levels was confirmed using a distinct set of virus-resistant transgenic tomato plants expressing the same TYLCSV Rep130, but from a different, synthetic, gene. Eight genes were found to be up-regulated in both types of transgenic tomato and two encoded Ser-PIs. Four of these eight genes were also up-regulated in TYLCSV-infected wild-type tomato plants. Implications with regard to the ability of this Rep domain to interfere with viral infections and to alter the host transcriptome are discussed. © 2013 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31 - 43
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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