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Title: Tomato yellow leaf curl virus C4 protein is a determinant of disease phenotype in tomato

item Padmanabhan, Chellappan
item ZHENG, YI - Boyce Thompson Institute
item Shamimuzzaman, Md
item FEI, ZHANGJUN - Boyce Thompson Institute
item Ling, Kai-Shu

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a monopartite begomovirus. Its genome contains six open reading frames, with V1 and V2 in sense, and C1 to C4 in complementary orientation. The functions of V1 and V2 are for coat protein and pre-coat, respectively. C1 is for virus replication, C2 for trans-activation, and C3 for replication enhancer. The function of C4 protein, however, has not been determined in TYLCV, although studies in other geminiviruses suggest its role in pathogenicity and disease phenotype. To evaluate the function of TYLCV- encoded C4 protein, we generated transgenic tomato plants via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Surprisingly, transgenic tomato plants displayed an upward leaf curling phenotype, which is similar to the symptoms of tomato plants infected by wild TYLCV. To investigate any host genes and pathways that might be altered by the transgene C4 expression, we conducted genome-wide transcriptome profiling using RNA sequencing and identified a total of 241 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including two microRNA target genes, in the transgenic C4 plants in comparison to those from the transgenic GFP control plants. Interestingly, expressions of several leaf developmental genes were altered, which might play a role leading to the leaf curl phenotype in the transgenic C4 plants. These results provide direct evidence that C4 of TYLCV is a unique virus-encoded protein that causes leaf curling phenotype upon virus infection in tomato.