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Salicylic acid collaborates with gene silencing to tomato defense against tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV)Antiviral research in plants has been focused on RNA silencing (i.e. RNA interference), and several studies suggest that salicylic acid (SA)-mediated resistance is a key part of plant antiviral defense. However, the antiviral defense mechanism of SA-mediation is still unclear, and several recent studies have suggested a connection between SA-mediated defense and RNA silencing, which needs further characterization in TYLCV infection. In this study, both SA-mediated defense and the RNA silencing mechanism were observed to play an important role in the antiviral response against TYLCV. First, we found that SA application enhanced the resistance to TYLCV in tomato plants. The expression of RNA-silencing-related genes, such as SlDCL1, SlDCL2, SlDCL4, SlRDR2, SlRDR3a, SlRDR6a, SlAGO1, and SlAGO4, were significantly triggered by exogenous SA application and inoculation with TYLCV, respectively. Furthermore, silencing of SlDCL2, SlDCL4 in tomato resulted in attenuated resistance to TYLCV, and reduced the expression of defense-related genes (SlPR1 and SlPR1b) in SA-mediated defense after infection with TYLCV, particularly in SlDCL2/SlDCL4-silenced plants. Taken together, we conclude that SA collaborates with gene silencing in tomato defense against TYLCV.