Transcriptomics of tomato plants infected with TYLCSV or expressing the central TYLCSV Rep protein domain uncover changes impacting pathogen response and senescence

Alessandra Lucioli, Carlo Perla, Alessandra Berardi, Francesca Gatti, Laura Spanò, Mario Tavazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


To establish a successful infection viruses need to overcome plant innate immune responses and redirect host gene expression for their multiplication and diffusion. Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) is a geminivirus, which causes significant economic losses in tomato. The multifunctional replication associated geminivirus protein (Rep) has an important role during viral infection. In particular, the Rep central domain spanning from aa 120 to 180 is known to interact with viral and host factors. In this study, we used long serial analysis of gene expression to analyse the transcriptional profiles of transgenic tomato plants expressing the first 210 amino acids of TYLCSV Rep (Rep210) and TYLCSV-infected wild-type tomato plants (Wt-Ty). Also, we compared these profiles with those of transgenic Rep130 tomatoes. Comparison of Wt-Ty and Rep210 libraries with the wild-type one identified 118 and 203 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), respectively. Importantly, 55% of Wt-Ty DEGs were in common with Rep210, and no ones showed opposite expression. Conversely, a negligible overlap was found between Rep130 DEGs and Wt-Ty and Rep210 ones. TYLCSV- and Rep210-repressed genes, but not induced ones, overlapped with the leaf senescence process. Interestingly, TYLCSV upregulates expression of genes involved in the negative regulation of programmed cell death (PCD), several of which were also regulated by the abscisic acid. Rep210 upregulated genes related to defence response, immune system processes and negative regulation of PCD. Collectively, our results support a model in which the Rep central domain has a pivotal role in redirecting host plant gene expression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61 - 70
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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