Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Tatineni S, Riethoven J-JM, Graybosch RA, French R, Mitra A (2014) Dynamics of Small RNA Profiles of Virus and Host Origin in Wheat Cultivars Synergistically Infected by Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus and Triticum Mosaic Virus: Virus Infection Caused a Drastic Shift in the Endogenous Small RNA Profile. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111577. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111577


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Co-infection of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) by Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV, a Tritimovirus) and Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV, a Poacevirus) of the family Potyviridae causes synergistic interaction. In this study, the effects of the synergistic interaction between WSMV and TriMV on endogenous and virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs) were examined in susceptible (‘Arapahoe’) and temperature-sensitive resistant (‘Mace’) wheat cultivars at 18 degrees C and 27 degrees C. Single and double infections in wheat caused a shift in the profile of endogenous small RNAs from 24 nt being the most predominant in healthy plants to 21 nt in infected wheat. Massive amounts of 21 and 22 nt vsiRNAs accumulated in singly and doubly infected Arapahoe at both temperatures and in Mace at 27 degrees C but not 18 degrees C. The plus- and minus-sense vsiRNAs were distributed throughout the genomic RNAs in Arapahoe at both temperature regimens and in Mace at 27degrees C, although some regions served as hot-spots, spawning an excessive number of vsiRNAs. The vsiRNA peaks were conserved among cultivars, suggesting that the Dicer-like enzymes in susceptible and resistant cultivars similarly accessed the genomic RNAs of WSMV or TriMV. Accumulation of large amounts of vsiRNAs in doubly infected plants suggests that the silencing suppressor proteins encoded by TriMV and WSMV do not prevent the formation of vsiRNAs; thus, the synergistic effect observed is independent from RNA-silencing mediated vsiRNA biogenesis. The high-resolution map of endogenous and vsiRNAs from WSMV- and/or TriMV-infected wheat cultivars may form a foundation for understanding the virus-host interactions, the effect of synergistic interactions on host defense, and virus resistance mechanisms in wheat.