Synergistic interaction among begomoviruses leads to the suppression of host defense-related gene expression and breakdown of resistance in chilli.

Ashish Kumar Singh, Nirbhay Kushwaha, Supriya Chakraborty,

Applied microbiology and biotechnology, January 18, 2016

Chilli (Capsicum sp.) is one of the economically important spice and vegetable crops grown in India and suffers great losses due to the infection of begomoviruses. Conventional breeding approaches have resulted in development of a few cultivars of chilli resistant to begomoviruses. A severe leaf curl disease was observed on one such resistant chilli cultivar (Capsicum annuum cv. Kalyanpur Chanchal) grown in the experimental field of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Four different viral genomic components namely, Chilli leaf curl virus (DNA A), Tomato leaf curl Bangladesh betasatellite (DNA β), Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (DNA A), and Tomato leaf curl Gujarat virus (DNA B) were associated with the severe leaf curl disease. Further, frequent association of these four genomic components was also observed in symptomatic plants of other chilli cultivars (Capsicum annuum cv. Kashi Anmol and Capsicum chinense cv. Bhut Jolokia) grown in the experimental field. Interaction studies among the isolated viral components revealed that Nicotiana benthamiana and chilli plants inoculated with four genomic components of begomoviruses exhibited severe leaf curl disease symptoms. In addition, this synergistic interaction resulted in increased viral DNA accumulation in infected plants. Resistant chilli plants co-inoculated with four genomic components of begomoviruses showed drastic reduction of host basal (ascorbate peroxidase, thionin, polyphenol oxidase) and specific defense-related gene (NBS-LRR) expression. Our results suggested that synergistic interaction among begomoviruses created permissive cellular environment in the resistant chilli plants which leads to breakdown of natural resistance, a phenomenon observed for the first time in chilli.

Pubmed Link: 26780359