Topical Application of Double-Stranded RNA Targeting 2b and CP Genes of Cucumber mosaic virus Protects Plants against Local and Systemic Viral Infection - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Plants Year : 2021

Topical Application of Double-Stranded RNA Targeting 2b and CP Genes of Cucumber mosaic virus Protects Plants against Local and Systemic Viral Infection

Abstract

Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is a destructive plant virus with worldwide distribution and the broadest host range of any known plant virus, as well as a model plant virus for understanding plant–virus interactions. Since the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) as a major antiviral defense, RNAi-based technologies have been developed for plant protection against viral diseases. In plants and animals, a key trigger of RNAi is double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) processed by Dicer and Dicer-like (DCL) family proteins in small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). In the present study, dsRNAs for coat protein (CP) and 2b genes of CMV were produced in vitro and in vivo and applied onto tobacco plants representing a systemic solanaceous host as well as on a local host plant Chenopodium quinoa. Both dsRNA treatments protected plants from local and systemic infection with CMV, but not against infection with unrelated viruses, confirming sequence specificity of antiviral RNAi. Antiviral RNAi was effective when dsRNAs were applied simultaneously with or four days prior to CMV inoculation, but not four days post inoculation. In vivo-produced dsRNAs were more effective than the in vitro-produced; in treatments with in vivo dsRNAs, dsRNA-CP was more effective than dsRNA-2b, while the effects were opposite with in vitro dsRNAs. Illumina sequencing of small RNAs from in vivo dsRNA-CP treated and non-treated tobacco plants revealed that interference with CMV infection in systemic leaves coincides with strongly reduced accumulation of virus-derived 21- and 22-nucleotide (nt) siRNAs, likely generated by tobacco DCL4 and DCL2, respectively. While the 21-nt class of viral siRNAs was predominant in non-treated plants, 21-nt and 22-nt classes accumulated at almost equal (but low) levels in dsRNA treated plants, suggesting that dsRNA treatment may boost DCL2 activity. Taken together, our findings confirm the efficacy of topical application of dsRNA for plant protection against viruses and shed more light on the mechanism of antiviral RNAi.
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hal-03747778 , version 1 (08-08-2022)

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Maria Holeva, Athanasios Sklavounos, Rajendran Rajeswaran, Mikhail M. Pooggin, Andreas Voloudakis. Topical Application of Double-Stranded RNA Targeting 2b and CP Genes of Cucumber mosaic virus Protects Plants against Local and Systemic Viral Infection. Plants, 2021, 10 (5), pp.963. ⟨10.3390/plants10050963⟩. ⟨hal-03747778⟩
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